When is the last time you took a good look at your feet? If you have diabetes, neglecting this crucial task can increase your risk of serious infections that may threaten your feet and legs. Our Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists, explain why foot care is so important and offer a few tips that will help you avoid complications.
Why does my risk increase if I have diabetes?
High blood glucose levels affect your ability to fight off infections. If your blood sugar level is too high, even the tiniest cut can quickly become infected. High blood sugar also slows healing, which means it may be difficult to recover from infections. Normally, you would be able to feel pain caused by an infection, but because poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage, you may not be aware that you have an infection if you don't examine your feet every day.
What should I look for when I examine my feet?
Look for anything unusual on your feet, including blisters, sores, corns and calluses. Before a blister forms, your heel or toe may first look red. If you notice any red spots, wear a different pair of shoes that doesn't rub against your feet. Don't try to smooth out corns and calluses yourself. If you do, you may raise your risk of infection. It's a much better idea to visit our Scottsdale or Sun City office if you notice any signs of problems, including ingrown toenails. If you notice that the side of a nail is growing into your skin, don't try to free the nail yourself.
When should I call the foot doctor?
A change in color is always a cause for concern. If you notice red streaks on your foot, or your foot is blue, black or abnormally white, call the office immediately. It's also important to call if you have sores, an ingrown toenail or want to get rid of corns or calluses. Any change in sensation, such as pain or numbness, must also be evaluated.
Prompt treatment of foot problems can help you protect your health. Call podiatrists Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists at (480) 483-9000 for Scottsdale appointments, or (623) 977-8388 for Sun City appointments.