Foot care, who takes care of your tootsies?

My blog comment today was about my footcare appointment that had to be cancelled. It got me to thinking that I have never heard my diabetic friends talk about their footcare and who does it. So I’ll ask my other diabetic friends, who does your foot care, do you have someone who does it for you, or do you do it yourself? What kind of plan or program do they do for /with you?

My diabetic nurse does my footcare for me every month. It’s rather like a pedicure, but more intensive. She takes care of the nails, callous’ and smooths out the rough spots. I love the feeling of softness when she gets done. She has also helped me pick out exercise shoes, walking shoes, dress shoes that won’t harm my feet, and give me the best support. She checks or any sores or open cracks on my feet and we treat those so they don’t get infected. This is all done at my clinic and under the auspices of my diabetic treatment.

So who takes care of your tootsies?

Unfortunately, as I don’t have health insurance, the care I receive is very limited and minimal, through a free local volunteer clinic. I give myself my own foot care, and care for my calluses and nails, or any rough spots once a week, and apply a cream for preventing cracks every night.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone regularly check my feet and then things got hairy with that cracked callous that has caused all my problems. You can get the idea of what I mean by my blogs entitled “Saga of 2009” which outline a lot of what has happened to me in the last eight months. It is in four parts and more may come as I am still in treatment. I am surprised that my regular DR and/or the endo never asked me to show them my feet. Once I am done with treatment with my current situation, I plan on following up with the podiatrist attached to my regular DR’s clinic.

Good luck and congrats on keeping a very important part of your care up to date.

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

Ooo, that sounds heavenly. What a wonderful nurse.

I take care of my feet myself. Guess I should go to a professional.

I think that many diabetics don’t understand the importance of taking care of your feet. Besides your eyesight and internal organs, your feet could be the first to show the wear and tear of diabetes. It is vital that you have them checked on a regular basis. If our own docs don’t know what to look for in diabetic foot care, then find a Podiatrist who does know. I am very fortunate to have a clinic that is dedicated to diabetic care among our Native Americans…so I reap the benefits of their expertise. If your insurance doesn’t cover a regular doc doing those extra things, that’s no reason not to have him/her look at your feet and do the checks. And if he/she can make referral…insurance companies will usually honor those referrals if they make sense.

It is important to see an “expert” if you don’t want to lose your toes or feet. I see a podiatrist every 3 months. He clips my nails, smooth out callouses and checks to see if I have good circulation in my feet. I have discovered that I have neuropathy on both feet and pain on my toes. He also prescribes diabetic shoes every year which are stylish and medicare pays for them. I have a friend who just lost 3 toes and he didn’t even know how that happened since he doesn’t remember hurting them. He might end up losing his leg up to his knee. Do not take your foot care lightly.

My endo said to never file down calluses & just use lotion. What do you think?

Well, I think some people just abuse some tools for getting rid of callouses and can end up ripping skin, or hurting themselves, and causing injury. But using a pumice stone or surface, to gently smooth roughness, is fine. This is what the CDC recommends in one of their Diabetes pamphlets. I think it’s helpful to avoid getting to the point where things crack, where lotion alone could take longer to improve things.

the basic theory is you may have reduced sensation in your feet and may not feel/detect any damage.
until its too late.
thats where a professional (podiatrist) comes in - trained to see/feel
also because circulation may be reduced to the feet (b/c blood vessels are affected by diabetes), wound healing may also be compromised (seriously !)
so prevention is the key.
regular examination (self and podiatrist) and prevention is the key
finally dont do silly things which can generally invite trouble such as walking barefoot when you shouldnt
or wear poorly designed/fitting shoes which can cause damage to your feet

Thanks. Makes sense. Diabetics have the worst looking heels.

I see a chiropodist privately every 6 months and my Diabetic Surgery Nurse checks me at my annual review.

Other than myself and a twice a month pedicure…my doctor endorses me to a podiatrist every 6 months for check up.

I am in the process of developing creams and lotions! I haven’t had any real foot problems as iv yet but can you give me some of symptoms and issues. I know I experience extremely dry feet and my feet tend to be cold most of the time. have you had this experience???

Podiatrist for annual checkup and nail trimming as needed with one of his staff who has knowledge on how to do it. Nightly lotion care daily and inspect. Christalyn, yes I have that problem of cold feet at times and attribute it to my diabetes. It sorta comes and goes.

I’ve had cold, dry feet all my life… but then again, I also have Hypothyroidism.

I do the weekly maintenance -cutting nails and applying lotion if skin gets dry and cracked. I visit the podiatrist once every year (or two) for a check up and ingrown toenals

Oh yes Christalyn! No major foot problems but Ive always had dry and cold feet too. I also attribute it to my preference to go barefoot at home. (I know, I know, I shoudnt) I use a cream called E-45. Dermatological, hypo allergenic, odorless. Works wonders to me =)

I think the recommendation is to not “shave” a callous if you are diabetic. I routinely “file” my foot callous. I am active and have never been able to eliminate the stresses that cause callouses to grow on my feet. Left unattended, the skin will thicken, crack on the heels and in certain places tend to rip off. Instead I use a callous file regularly.

I still have good mobility, so I can actually inspect the bottom of my feet. I also still have strong circulation which means that I am at less risk for problems. But, I’m starting to lose feeling on the bottom of my toes, bad news. This means that I am going to have to start being careful. I’ll have to watch out going barefoot, I could end up with a wound and not know it.

If I had limited mobility or impaired circulation, I’d definitely be seeing the podiatrist every quarter or so. In either case, I think with my emerging problems, I really need to go this year. I can still take care of my nails and callouses, but with emerging neuropathy, there can be problems I can’t see or feel that I need to be on top of.

ps. A sign of a good doctor for a diabetic is one who checks your feet. In my case, neither my current GP nor my endo have ever checked my feet. They both lose points. And I’ve told them that.

cold feet is just a female thing. wife has 'em and my 4yr old daughter has them and they both enjoy sticking them on me at night.

Poor Joe, my husband says the same thing…maybe you guys should form a group or something, “Men frozen by Women’s cold feet”. MFBWCF ---- you could get t-shirts of feet on ice. hehehehe