5 Basic Foot Care Essentials for Diabetics

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5 Basic Foot Care Essentials for Diabetics

Around 9% of the population has diabetes. One possible complication of diabetes is nerve damage in your feet. This leaves one very susceptible to a foot injury.

Because having diabetes can also lead to struggles fighting off infections, it is important to take proper preventative measures.

Do you have diabetes and want to make sure you avoid potential food injuries? Read below for five basic foot care essentials everyone should know.

1. Skin Checks

This is one of the easiest steps you can take. Try to touch and inspect your feet every day. Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. This includes cuts, swelling, or bruises.

Also, make note of any areas that are tender. Don’t forget the sides and in between your toes.

If you have poor eyesight or flexibility that prevents you from checking your own feet, ask a loved one to help you.

Taking a few minutes each day to inspect your feet will help catch any problem early on.

2. Control Your Sugar

Another preventative aspect of basic foot care includes paying attention to your sugar levels. Work to stay within guidelines you have established with your doctor.

To accomplish this, be sure to eat according to your meal plan and pay lots of attention to carbohydrates. Always be consistent with any medication you take as part of managing your diabetes.

Another option for keeping your sugar in check is to do light non-impact exercise. This can be anything from walking and stretching to playing tennis or taking a dance class.

3. Always Wear Shoes

Managing diabetes doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many products available to help handle pain and prevent serious complications.

An important habit to get into is to never go barefoot. This can be hard during warm summer months, but simple injuries can become severe when you have diabetes.

Sometimes a stubbed toe can lead to ulcers. Keep slippers by your bed and always wear sturdy shoes when going outside. Avoid sandals and open-toe shoes.

You should also wear a clean pair of socks each day.

4. Wash and Dry Correctly

In order to keep your feet in good shape, you must properly wash and clean them. Doing this helps get rid of germs that may cause an infection.

Wash both your feet every day with soap. Try not to use hot water because it can damage the skin on your feet. If you have nerve damage in your feet, check the water temperature with your hand.

Gently remove any calluses with a pumice stone.

When finished, dry your feet completely. Rub some lotion to keep the skin soft.

5. Cut Toenails Straight Across

While this tip applies to everyone, it is especially important to those with diabetes. Always cut your toenails straight across. This helps avoid painful ingrown toenails.

Avoid cutting your toenails too short. If you have trouble cutting your own toenails, ask a loved one for help.

Get Started with Basic Foot Care

With these five tips, you are ready to start taking excellent care of your feet. Preventative care will help you avoid serious complications down the road.

If you are ready to get a better handle on your foot care or have some questions, schedule an appointment with us today.

4 Diabetes Products to Help Relieve Your Foot Pain

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4 Diabetes Products to Help Relieve Your Foot Pain

As a diabetic, you have to be constantly mindful of what you put into your body. And, if you have some form of neuropathy, you need to stay on top of managing your symptoms. 

You’re not alone in managing neuropathy. About 60-70% of diabetics have some form of neuropathy according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

If you have peripheral neuropathy, you likely have pain in your fingers, legs, and feet. You can usually manage the pain by getting your diet under control, exercising, and quitting smoking. 

But, there are some days when even naturally managing your diabetic foot pain isn’t enough. On those days, you need diabetes products to help relieve your foot pain.

Here are some products to help treat your foot pain.

Diabetic Shoes

When you have peripheral neuropathy, you should avoid walking around barefoot. The risk is too great that you will open a new wound on your foot and not realize it.

Diabetic socks are made of anti-bacterial fibers which are designed to wick away moisture from your feet. They also help reduce rubbing and irritation which can cause blisters.

Diabetic shoes and insoles mold to your feet to provide exactly the right support. Having the right shoes reduces pinching which can lead to foot ulcers.

Compression Socks and Stockings

Diabetic foot pain is caused largely by the weakening of the veins in your legs. The vein walls become too loose to let blood circulate back up your legs, so unoxygenated blood pools in your feet. 

Compression socks and stockings put a slight pressure on your legs, and by extension, your veins, to give them the support they need to carry blood from your feet to your lungs.

Like many diabetic products, there is no one size fits all solution for compression socks. Speak to your doctor about the level of pressure you need in compression socks. 

Capsaicin Cream

A capsaicin cream is a topical treatment applied to the skin. The main ingredient in capsaicin creams is a compound found in hot peppers. 

When applied to the skin, capsaicin first stimulates the nerve endings, which can cause a brief jump in pain. This stimulation is followed by decreasing intensity of the pain as the capsaicin starts to block signals in the nerve endings.

In a study of 252 individuals, 58.4% of patients reported an improvement in pain relief by applying a capsaicin cream. 

While you can pick up a capsaicin cream at your local drugstore, check with your doctor before using one. Capsaicin can react with other drugs and irritate your skin. 

OTC Pain Relief

For days when you have mild nerve pain from diabetes, over the counter pain relievers are a good option for finding relief. Many diabetes patients will turn to their regular painkillers like Advil or Tylenol. 

If you find you’re taking these OTC painkillers too frequently, you should speak to your doctor about other medications you can take. If your pain level is high, your doctor might prescribe an antidepressant or anti-seizure medication, both of which help with pain management. 

Ask Your Doctor About the Best Diabetes Products For You

Before you select new diabetes products to try, you should consult your regular physician and podiatrist first. 

If you’re looking for expert advice on incorporating new diabetes products into your treatment, schedule an appointment with us today.

Why Do My Heels Hurt? Questions For Your Doctor

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Why Do My Heels Hurt? Questions For Your Doctor

Are you feeling pain in your heels when you walk or run? Is there a distinctive tingling or burning in your pedestrian support system? 

Heel pain can be incredibly obtrusive and can be debilitating to your day to day. There are a plethora of problems that involve the feet as we get older. 

The good news is that many of those problems actually have solutions and explanations. If you’re asking yourself, “Why do my heels hurt?”, then consider a few of these questions and do some prep-work before seeing your doctor.

Here’s a list of questions for your doctor regarding heel pain:

1. What Is The Right Kind Of Shoe For Me

Whether you’re a gym fanatic who runs a lot or live in a big city and walk plenty, a good pair of shoes can save you. Different shoes are made to create support for different parts of your foot based on the activity of the user. 

When choosing a shoe, it is important to take into consideration every detail of how the shoe is constructed and where the support system within the shoe lies. Some people prefer the more barefoot feeling approach, while others require heavy cushion under their feet on a daily basis. 

Whatever your activities are, asking “Why do my heels hurt?” on a daily basis means you probably need new shoes. A doctor or foot specialist can point you in the right direction. 

2. Ask “Why Do My Heels Hurt?”

Is It Because of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is extreme overuse of the heel and could leave you asking “Why do my heels hurt?” It isn’t completely uncommon either, as 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime. 

If left untreated this can become a major issue for your feet. Ask your doctor about plantar fasciitis and they’ll be able to tell you if you suffer from it. If it isn’t taken care of, it can make for a very serious situation and even lead to heel spurs.

3. Ask About Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are bony structures that grow from the heel bone area. They create major pain in the heels. If you’ve been dealing with heel pain for a long time and possibly plantar fasciitis but didn’t know it, you may have created a space for heel spurs.

Heel spurs often require surgery and can slow your life down for some time. The key is to have your heels evaluated before it is too late.

4. Do I have Bursitis? 

Bursitis is the deepening of the bursa. In the foot atrium, there is a pillow-like sac that bonds with the bone or curves around it. The atrium is like a bean bag that gives cushion to the bond and the bone.

If there is an abrasion or heavy burden consistently on it, the sac will become afflicted and unhealthy, which creates a lot of pain. 

5. Do I Walk or Run Correctly?

Yes, there is a proper way to walk, run, and even stand. If you’ve got poor running posture you can absolutely be putting more pressure than is necessary on your heels. 

With an evaluation from your doctor or physical therapist, you can learn to evenly distribute your weight and pressure when walking or running. 

For more info on optimal foot and ankle care, call our office +1-626-385-3338 – or – request an appointment!