Your Checklist for Diabetic Self-Foot Checks

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Diabetic self-foot examIf you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal, odds are you have a checklist of things to do -- from shopping for food to preparing the turkey to cleaning, decorating, and more. Checklists are great to have so you don’t let even the smallest of details slip through the cracks – which is exactly why having one for a diabetic self-foot check will come in extra handy!

You see, when you have diabetes, catching problems early, no matter how small they may seem, can mean the difference between a minor issue and a major complication. That’s why it’s imperative that you check your feet – tops, bottoms, and even in between toes -- every day! Pick a time and stick to it so it becomes a regular part of your routine. You may need a mirror or a little help from a loved one to check hard-to-see places – whatever it takes to be as thorough as possible. Sit with your foot resting on your opposite knee and look for this checklist of warning signs to spot trouble early so it doesn’t get worse:

Scrapes, scratches, and such. Look for cuts, or any other abrasions, especially wounds that seem to not be healing which can be vulnerable to dangerous infections.

Irritations and irregularities. Blisters, corns, or calluses might signify your shoes are rubbing you the wrong way. Itchy patches can indicate a fungal infection, and swelling, redness, and warmth are signs of infection.

Discoloration. Black or blue skin indicates circulation problems which can wreak havoc on the healing process. If it’s your nails that are discolored,  is often the culprit and such an infection can spread.

Cracks and Growths. Dry skin can be dangerous with diabetes as it can lead to cracks in the skin that easily become infected. In addition, warts and ingrown toenails can open the door to infection as well.

It’s important to note that treating these problems yourself can actually make matters worse. If you spot any of these warning signs during your diabetic self-foot check, contact Parker Foot and Ankle right away so we can assess the problem and ensure it is treated promptly and properly to avoid any further issues.

While a missed detail can put a damper on a Thanksgiving gathering, when it comes to diabetes, missing even the smallest of details can lead to serious consequences, including hospital stays and even amputation. Follow your checklist daily, and if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call our Houston, TX office at (281) 497-2850. We are here to help!

 

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