One tiny blister can cause some very nasty complications if you have diabetes. Avoiding these problems is often as simple as examining your feet daily and visiting your foot doctor regularly. Denver podiatrists, Dr. Eric Jaakola and Dr. Anna Weber of Diabetic Foot & Wound Center, explain why diabetic footcare is so important.
How does diabetes affect the feet?
Diabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet that makes it more difficult to feel pain. When you don't feel pain, you might not notice wounds until they become very large and more difficult to treat. Poor circulation can also be a problem, in addition to nerve damage. When you have poor circulation, wounds take longer to heal, and it's more difficult for your body to fight infection. When an infection becomes very serious, sometimes the only option is amputation.
Why is footcare important?
Making diabetic footcare a priority can help you stay healthy and avoid complications. Adding a foot inspection to your daily routine is an easy way to ensure that you don't overlook any potential signs of trouble.
What should I look for when I examine my feet?
In addition to open wounds and ulcers, it's also important to look for other more subtle signs of potential problems. Pay attention to:
Ingrown toenails: Ingrown toenails can lead to infections. If you notice that the side of a nail has grown into the surrounding skin, don't try to treat the problem on your own. Call your Denver podiatrist and schedule an appointment.
Skin irritation: Irritation is a warning sign that shouldn't be ignored. Spots often occur if your shoes are too tight or rub against part of your foot. If you ignore a red spot on your foot and don't make changes to your footwear, a blister or callus could form.
Strange sensations: You may notice unusual sensations in your feet if you develop nerve damage. Tingling, numbness, a "pins and needles" feeling or a burning sensation can be symptoms of damage.
Blisters and calluses: Blisters and calluses are considered minor skin problems if you don't have diabetes, but can be much more serious when you have the disease. Calluses can eventually lead to ulcers and must be removed by your podiatrist.
Color changes: Changes in the color of your skin can indicate very serious problems. If your skin is pale or blue, poor circulation may be to blame, while red streaks can be a sign of infection. Black areas of your skin may occur if your foot tissues are dead or dying. All of these symptoms require immediate medical treatment.
Concerned about a foot issue? Call your Denver podiatrists, Drs. Jaakola and Weber at Diabetic Foot & Wound Center, at (303)321-4477 for an appointment. Protect your health with good diabetic footcare.