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Diabetic Foot Care

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the inability to manufacture or properly use insulin, and it impairs the body's ability to convert sugars, starches, and other foods into energy. The long-term effects of elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to serious damage to the eyes, heart, kidney, nerves, and feet. Diabetes affects the lives of nearly 26 million people in the United States and nearly seven million don't even know they have the disease yet.

While there is no cure for diabetes, there is hope. With proper diet, exercise, medical care, and careful management at home, a person with diabetes can avoid the most serious complications and enjoy a full and active life. Today's podiatrist plays a key role in helping patients manage diabetes successfully and avoid foot-related complications.


Diabetes warning signs include the following:

  • Skin color changes

  • Swelling of the foot or ankle

  • Numbness in the feet or toes

  • Pain in the legs

  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal

  • Ingrown and fungal toenails

  • Bleeding corns and calluses

  • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

Visit Dr. Davis

If you are diabetic and you have any type of foot problem, no matter how minor, or if you are concerned about how diabetes may affect your feet, it is essential that you be seen on a regular basis by Dr. Davis.  Over time, diabetes can cause severe foot problems that can be very debilitating if left unchecked.  Early detection and prevention of foot problems is essential for the diabetic to preserve foot function and prevent amputations.  Because diabetes is a disease affecting many parts of the body, successful management requires a team approach. As a podiatrist, Dr. Davis is an integral part of the treatment team for diabetes and plays an integral part in helping diabetics to prevent severe foot problems and amputations from occurring.  Some interesting statistics about diabetic amputations:

  • More than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated annually due to complications from diabetes.

  • After an amputation, the chance of another amputation within three to five years is as high as 50 percent.

  • Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation up to 85 percent and lowers the risk of hospitalization by 24 percent.

The keys to amputation prevention are early recognition and regular foot screenings performed by Dr. Davis.

Take Action

If you have diabetes, follow these foot care tips:

  • Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.

  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.

  • Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.

  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.

  • Don't go barefoot. Don't go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.

  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.

  • Regular checkups by Dr. Davis--at least annually--are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.

    Dr. Nathan W. Davis is board certified in foot surgery and has been trained specifically and extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of foot and ankle conditions. This training encompasses all of the intricately related systems and structures of the foot and lower leg including neurological, circulatory, skin, and the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.


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