The RIGHT Way to Give Yourself a Diabetic Foot Check

Using a mirror helps give you a better view for a foot examAnyone with diabetes knows the importance of checking your feet, weekly if you’ve never had foot problems or daily if you have loss of sensation due to peripheral neuropathy.

But just because you know that you have to do a foot check doesn’t mean you know exactly how to do it, so here’s your Houston podiatrist’s easy step-by-step guide to sef-foot exams.

Scrub, Scrub – Gently clean your feet with soap and warm water.

Assume the position: Take a seat on a bed, chair, or toilet in a well lit area, with both of your legs hanging comfortably in front of you. Lift one foot onto your opposite leg so you can see the whole foot, but keep the supporting leg as relaxed as possible.

Towel off—carefully dry your foot, taking special care to pat down the area between your toes.

Start at the Bottom: Rotate your foot so you can see the sole of your foot – if you aren’t particularly flexible, you may need to use a handheld mirror to see all the hard-to-reach spots.

Here’s what to look for on each area of your foot, courtesy of Diabetic Living:

Balls of feet: Scan the surface for bumps and irregular textures. Because this area endures high pressure when you walk, calluses or corns may develop. Proper-fitting footwear can reduce your risk.

Soles of feet: Feel for bumps and lumps, which can be signs of muscle or bone injuries. Contact your doctor if symptoms persist or if you notice open wounds called ulcers.

Heels: Feel for dry, rough, or cracked skin. Even small fissures can become infected. For prevention, moisturize daily with odorless, colorless lotion. Don't moisturize between toes; bacteria love warm, moist places.

Self-foot exams are an important part of maintaining your diabetic foot health but, alone, they are insufficient. If you are living with diabetes in Houston, it is crucial to see your podiatrist for more extensive exams at least twice a year, so don’t delay: schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today!