When you’re among the 30 million men, women, and children in the United States who have diabetes, you want to give yourself the best chance of controlling your disease by following your doctor’s orders, emphasizing fresh, low-glycemic foods in your diet, and increasing your activity level.
But even with your best efforts, diabetes can cause a complication called diabetic neuropathy, which dampens pain signals in your feet. Diabetes also decreases the circulation of oxygenating, nourishing blood to your limbs and feet — a condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD) — which can lead to problems with foot health and function.
Errol Gindi, DPM, a compassionate podiatrist in Valley Stream, New York, understands that diabetics need extra foot care. He helps you identify and correct any problems caused by diabetes, so you can get early treatment and avoid serious complications such as gangrene or even amputation.
Dr. Gindi has skill and expertise in diabetic wound care and in treating all diabetic foot conditions. Here, he explains how you can keep your feet in good shape and how a podiatrist can help.
Pay attention to your feet
If you have diabetes, the high levels of circulating sugar in your blood damage your blood vessels and nerves, particularly those in your feet. If you’ve noticed that your feet sometimes feel numb, or if they tingle or feel weak, you may have already developed diabetic neuropathy or PAD. Other foot-related symptoms and complications of diabetes include:
- Wounds or ulcers that don’t heal
- Toenail fungus
- Dry, cracked skin or calluses
- Ingrown, infected toenails
- Foot pain
- Fallen arches
You should inspect your feet daily for changes in your skin tone, texture, and temperature. Also look between your toes and on your soles for blisters, ulcers, or wounds that take a long time to heal. Dr. Gindi conducts a comprehensive examination of your feet to ensure that your skin, nerves, and circulation are healthy and to identify any potential problems as early as possible.
Get expert care
When you have a podiatrist on your diabetes management team, you know your feet are getting the specialized care they need. Even if you inspect your feet daily, you may easily miss a small wound or blister that could become infected and develop into gangrene, putting your foot at risk for amputation. A podiatrist also ensures that you don’t accidentally damage yourself by trying to remove your corns or calluses or resolve an ingrown toenail.
Dr. Gindi takes care of your feet by:
- Debriding (removing) dead, damaged skin
- Treating ulcers
- Checking for nerve damage and PAD
- Safely removing calluses and corns
- Trimming your toenails
- Treating or removing ingrown toenails
- Administering antifungal treatments
At Dr. Gindi’s office, you receive advanced treatments for your feet, including the best topical medications, laser therapy, and in-office skin grafts to heal large ulcers. After your treatment, Dr. Gindi bandages or braces your foot as needed to keep it safe while you heal.
Wear the right shoes
A good pair of shoes is essential to keeping your feet healthy if you have diabetes. Dr. Gindi recommends buying shoes that are wide enough in the toe box to allow each toe to rest naturally, without being pinched or crowded. He also recommends flat or low-heeled shoes.
Dr. Gindi prescribes custom orthotics if you have fallen arches, diabetic neuropathy, or other complications of diabetes that affect your feet. Unlike store-bought insoles, custom orthotics are designed not only to fit your foot perfectly but also to compensate for functional issues and improve the way you walk.
Take care of your feet
Whether you have symptoms of diabetes-related foot complications, it’s best to visit Dr. Gindi at least once or twice a year to check for signs of diabetic neuropathy, PAD, and other complications. You should also pamper and protect your feet by adopting the following habits:
- Inspect your feet every day
- Wash, dry, and moisturize your feet daily
- Powder between your toes daily
- Gently buff your feet regularly to remove dry skin
- Carefully cut your toenails short and straight
- Wear shoes and socks outdoors and indoors
- Wear protective footwear at the beach, gym, and pool
When you need to add a podiatrist to your diabetes care team, phone our office or use our easy online request form to schedule an appointment. At Errol Gindi, DPM, we put your feet first.