Spring is coming and when a bear wakes up from a long winter’s hibernation, they find that they have an increased appetite and have lost a lot of weight. If you have these symptoms, accompanied by fatigue or blurry vision, you might have diabetes. People with this disease need to make sure they give themselves a diabetic foot exam every single day or else complications may arise.
This self-foot exam should take place daily, and the best way to get into a habit is to incorporate it into your routine. For example, do it right after your shower or first thing in the morning. Follow this checklist to make sure you do a thorough check.
- First, get into a comfortable position where you can see your feet well. You need to utilize the help of a mirror or a loved one to see every nook and cranny.
- If you’ve just taken a bath be sure to pat your feet completely dry, paying special attention to in between the toes.
- Examine the bottom of your feet including the ball, sole, and arches. Feel around for any lumps, bumps, or rough skin. Take notice of any wounds that may not be healing.
- Inspect your toes, this includes in between each toe and around the nail beds.
- Keep a running log of any changes you may find. If there is anything that is concerning you, make an appointment with a doctor for a professional foot exam.
- Protect your feet at all times with foot coverings. Even at home you may step on something sharp or stub your toes on something hard. By protecting your feet you save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.
- When grooming your toes be sure to use sterile instruments that you have cleaned yourself. Trim your nails straight across.
If you have any other questions about taking care of diabetic feet, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment at one of our three Massachusetts offices: North Andover, Haverhill, or Lowell.