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Self-Exams: The Secret to Great Diabetic Foot Health

Diabetes is a problem across the country, and Louisiana is no exception! With an estimated diabetic population of more than 10 percent, the state ranked 11th for American diabetes diagnoses in the last couple years. With such a high diabetic population, it’s more important than ever that people are educated about the disease and how to take care of their feet. Diabetic self-exams are an easy, but important, part of that.

Foot checks are just as necessary as periodic appointments to check your blood sugar levels and general health. Damage from fluctuating sugar levels makes your lower limbs significantly more prone to injuries as well as decreases their ability to heal. Self-exams allow you to catch the little changes in your lower limbs that could become big problems or infections later.

The key to a successful foot check is to be thorough. Don’t take any part of your foot for granted. Here are tips for an excellent self-exam:

  1. Check the Whole Foot – Look over the tops, soles, heels, and in between the toes. Use a mirror or ask for help if you can’t see your sole well.

  2. Look at Your Skin – Pay attention to your skin. Look for dry patches or odd discoloration. Note any calluses, corns, cuts, scratches, blisters, or sores. Those will need to be checked by specialists.

  3. Feel Your Feet – Use your hands to feel for unusual lumps, bumps, tenderness, and warm or cold spots.

  4. Check Your Toenails – Inspect your nails for discoloration, thickening, and in-growing.

This is easy to work into your daily routine. Simply do your checks when you wash your feet in the morning or evening.

Don’t take your feet for granted. Diabetes puts your lower limbs at risk for many painful and potentially dangerous problems. You can prevent these issues simply by paying attention to your feet and catching problems early. If you notice any unusual changes in your lower limbs, let Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Metairie, LA, know right away. Call (504)-708-4810 or use our online request form to schedule an appointment.

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