If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, foot care should be a top priority. That's because people with diabetes are at increased risk for developing foot problems, including ulcers and infections.
That's where a podiatrist comes in. A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the feet. Here's what you need to know about seeing a podiatrist if you have diabetes.
Podiatrists Can Prevent Many Foot Issues
One of the most important things a podiatrist can do is help you prevent foot problems in the first place. That's because podiatrists are trained to identify risk factors that can lead to foot problems, such as nerve damage and poor circulation.
When a podiatrist identifies your risk, they can develop a treatment plan to help you prevent foot problems before they start.
Podiatrists Help You Find Orthotics
They can also provide you with custom-fitted orthotics, which prevent many foot issues. Orthotics are devices that you wear in your shoes to support your feet.
Custom-fitted orthotics can be expensive, but they're often covered by insurance. Even if they're not, they're worth the investment because they can help you avoid serious foot problems down the road.
Podiatrists Treat Foot Problems
If you already have a foot problem, a podiatrist can help. They can treat everything from bunions and plantar fasciitis to diabetic ulcers.
Diabetic ulcers can be dangerous if they're left untreated. That's because they can lead to infections that can spread throughout your body. If you have a diabetic ulcer, your podiatrist will clean it and dress it to help it heal.
They may also prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection. In severe cases, they may need to perform surgery to remove the dead tissue around the ulcer.
Podiatrists Help You Care for Yourself
They can also provide you with guidance on how to care for your feet at home. This is especially important if you have diabetes-related nerve damage, which can make it difficult to care for your feet properly on your own.
At home, you should inspect your feet every day for cuts, blisters, or any other problems. You should also wash them every day with soap and water. A comprehensive foot exam can ensure that your feet don't need extra care.
Don't Wait to See a Podiatrist
If you have diabetes, don't wait to see a podiatrist. The sooner you see one, the sooner they can help you prevent or treat foot problems. For more information, contact a podiatrist near you.