Your Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley and Crystal Lake podiatrists can help you care for your feet when you have diabetes.
Minor foot injuries can quickly turn into major health problems when you have diabetes. Podiatrists Dr. Gary Ochwat, Dr. Craig Halihan, Dr. Ronald Clemente and Dr. Michael Williams provide diabetic wound care in Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley and Crystal Lake, IL and explain why checking your feet regularly is so important.
How does diabetes affect my feet?
High blood sugar levels damage your nerves. The probably is more likely to occur if your diabetes is uncontrolled or poorly controlled and can happen whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When the nerves in your feet are damaged, you're less likely to feel pain if you have a sore or injury. In fact, you may not even know there's a problem if you don't check your feet.
High blood sugar levels also slow healing and make it harder for your body to combat infections. If infections are out of control, sometimes the only solution is to amputate your foot. Regular foot checks help you ensure that you spot potential problems when they're still small enough to respond to treatment.
How often should I check my feet?
Daily foot checks are recommended. You never know when a new pair of shoes will cause a blister or when you'll step on a rock during a quick dash to the mailbox. It doesn't matter if you check your feet in the morning or evening, as long as you make daily checks a priority.
What should I look for?
Any changes to the skin of your feet can increase your risk of developing problems. For example, after walking around in your new shoes all day, you might not have a blister, but you may notice a red spot at the back of your heel. If you don't switch your shoes, that spot could turn into an open sore, blister or callus. Blisters are another sign that it's time to try another pair of shoes.
Other potential signs of trouble include open sores; ingrown toenails; tingling, numbness or burning sensations; or color changes. Poor circulation can make your foot look pale or blue, while black areas can develop if the tissue has died. If you notice any of these signs, call your podiatrist as soon as possible.
Regular foot checks can help you avoid diabetes complications. If you do develop a problem and need diabetic wound care, call your Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley and Crystal Lake, IL, podiatrists--Dr. Ochwat, Dr. Halihan, Dr. Clemente and Dr. Williams--to schedule an appointment.