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Diabetes And Your Feet

In New York City

Diabetes And Your Feet

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 16 million people (greater than 6% percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.

Foot Problem

Foot problems are a huge risk for diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet for changes that they no longer can feel or they face severe consequences including amputation.

With a diabetic foot, a wound such as a small blister from wearing a tight, ill-fitting shoe can cause a lot of damage. As a part of the disease, diabetes decreases blood flow to the extremities causing simple injuries to heal more slowly. When a wound does not healing in a normal amount of time it places you at a greater risk for infection. As a diabetic, you are inherently immune-suppressed, causing your infections spread more rapidly. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet due to arthritis or obesity, you MUST get someone to help you, or use a mirror.

Why Choose Chelsea Foot and Ankle?

Our team respects our patients and values their time. Choosing Chelsea Foot and Ankle as your provider means you can expect to be treated like family and the VIP you are. Because of our commitment to our patients, we offer comprehensive care at reasonable prices with a friendly staff who are ready to help with any questions or billing issues.

Some basic advice for Diabetics in caring for your feet:

  • Try to keep your feet warm.
  • Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain.
  • Don’t put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
  • Don’t smoke or sit cross-legged. Both dramatically decrease blood supply to your feet.
  • Don’t soak your feet.
  • Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
  • Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners.
  • Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office. Do not attempt to cut this yourself.
  • Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don’t put any lotion between your toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water and dry them well afterwards.
  • Wear loose socks to bed.
  • Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
  • When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
  • Use your hands to inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on. Shake the shoe to remove any debris or items that may have gotten in (such as loose change or a pebble.
  • Don’t lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
  • Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.

Have Questions?

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If your feet become numb from diabetes, they are at risk for becoming deformed. One way this happens is through a loss of protective sensation. You walk on pressure points that normally would hurt, signaling you to stop walking on the painful bony prominence. If you have diabetic neuropathy and you don’t regularly check your feet, these pressure points can eventually break through the skin and cause ulcers, or open sores. Often, these may become infected. Another way your feet may become deformed in diabetes is a bone condition called Charcot (pronounced “sharko”) foot. This is one of the most serious foot problems you can face as a diabetic. It warps the shape of your foot by causing your bones fracture and disintegrate, yet you continue to walk on it because you don’t feel it. Diabetic foot ulcers and the early phases of Charcot fractures can be treated successfully managed by a number of conservative (non-surgical) modalities.

If you are seeking treatment for foot problems due to diabetes in New York City, call our office today at (646) 929-4149! Don’t forget to check out our blog to learn more about us!

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