November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa would like to provide some top tips on how to care for your feet and ankles with diabetes.
- Check your feet and ankles daily. Pay special attention to the bottom of your feet. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet, have someone else look at the bottom of your feet for you or use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. If you notice any changes in your skin, calluses, skin lesions or ulcers, make sure you contact your foot doctor right away!
Picture from: https://nursingcrib.com/news-blog/diabetic-foot-care/
- Schedule diabetic foot checks with your foot and ankle doctor. Have a discussion with your foot and ankle doctor at your visit on how frequently you need to have diabetic foot checks. This timing will vary on an individual basis and your foot and ankle needs.
- At your appointment, your foot and ankle doctor will examine your feet and ankles. Your foot doctor is looking for vascular conditions, neurological conditions, muscular conditions, deformities, and skin conditions. Your foot doctor will discuss their findings with you as well as may refer you for further testing if they have concern.
- If you develop a diabetic foot or ankle ulcer, make sure that you monitor your foot or ankle ulcer daily. You are monitoring your foot and ankle for signs of infection. Diabetes places patients at higher risk for infection. Make sure that you attend your scheduled appointments with your foot doctor. These are important to monitor your foot or ankle ulcer.
Picture from: arditor.com
- Moisturize feet, ankles, and legs daily. Not only is skin health important, but this is a good time to perform your daily foot and ankle checks. Avoid moisturizing between the toes. This is especially important in the winter months as dry skin on the foot can lead to cracking and other complications.
- Wear motion control shoes at all times and avoid barefoot. Diabetes places patients at higher risk to develop peripheral neuropathy. With neuropathy, you can lose feeling in your feet and ankles. When you lose feeling, you are more prone to skin injury including ulcers and foreign bodies, especially if barefoot.
Picture from: https://www.altrarunning.com
Contact Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa today to schedule an appointment for your foot and ankle concerns or for a diabetic foot and ankle examination!