Foot pain and discomfort can make mobility increasingly difficult as patients grow older. If the patient is also a diabetic, they must take foot health even more seriously. This increased focus on foot health is due to their elevated risk of suffering infections and other potentially serious complications. If you or someone you love is dealing with diabetes and you want to help them enjoy good foot health and mobility throughout their later years, here are some important tips to consider.
Ask for help with a daily foot inspection
Diabetes slows circulation and makes it much more difficult for patients to discover any new wounds or breaks in the skin. Even more serious is the fact that a diabetic patient may not be able to discern when their wounds have worsened or become infected.
Part of the reason for this is that it can be very difficult for an elderly diabetic patient to visually inspect all parts of their feet and lower extremities. Encouraging your elderly loved one to accept your help with a daily inspection of their feet or teaching them how to use mirrors effectively will help to ensure that any changes in their foot health are discovered quickly, while they are still easily treatable.
Learn to trim nails correctly
Diabetic patients must also learn to trim their nails correctly to avoid any sharp or jagged edges that can cut the skin or instances in which the toenails are trimmed too deeply and a wound is created. Patients who have developed nail condition issues, such as ingrown or thickened nails, should consider having their foot health care professional provide regular trimming to prevent possible problems.
Diabetic patients must also be careful to refrain from trying to trim away corns or callouses at home due to the risk of breaking the skin and creating a heightened risk of infection. Your foot health care professional will be able to provide comfortable, safe methods of removing corns, and callouses.
Seek assistance with wound care
If a sore or wound does develop, diabetic patients must be proactive with their wound care routine to avoid the risk of developing an infection that could lead to amputation or other severe complications. In addition to proactive disinfection and wound care as soon as the wound is discovered, the diabetic patient should consider making an appointment with a trusted podiatrist to examine any new or unhealed wound and determine what treatment is needed to ensure proper healing.
For more information, contact a podiatrist in your area.