If you're diabetic, then your doctor is likely to have told you to see a podiatrist for a regular foot check. Diabetes often affects the feet, so your doctor will want them assessed to a set schedule.
For example, you may be told to see a podiatrist every year or every few months, depending on risk factors and the current condition of your feet. While regular checks are vital, you also need to keep an eye on your feet in-between appointments.
If you notice that something is wrong, you may need to schedule an ad hoc podiatry appointment. When should you do this?
1. Skin Problems
If you develop skin problems, like corns, calluses or hard skin, then you may need to get your podiatrist to treat them. You may have dealt with these problems in the past on your own; however, your diabetes may make self-treatment riskier than it used to be.
Diabetes affects blood circulation in your feet. If you cut a foot while you're getting rid of a patch of hard skin, then you may damage your foot. Its decreased blood flow means that you may not notice if the damage gets worse; you may also not be able to heal the damage yourself. It's safer to have your podiatrist treat these kinds of problems for you.
2. Skin Damage
When feet have healthy blood flow, they heal more easily. So, if someone gets a small cut or sore on a foot, it generally sorts itself out easily enough with minor self-administered treatment.
However, this doesn't always work if you're diabetic. Your feet may not heal well any longer. Even a small cut or sore can turn into a bigger problem. So, see your podiatrist if you notice any damage to your skin as early as you can.
3. Feet Changes
Diabetes can also reduce the feeling you have in your feet. Sometimes, you can have a foot problem that you don't feel at all even though it should hurt.
So, it's important to make an appointment to see your podiatrist if you notice any changes to your feet. For example, even minor swelling can be a sign of injury; any change in the way your foot feels needs to be assessed.
Changes in foot temperature can also be a sign that something isn't right. So, if one or both of your feet feel hotter or colder than usual, you should see your podiatrist so they can check for problems.
If you have any concerns about your feet, then it's better to see a podiatrist than to leave things as they are. Diabetic-related foot problems can turn into serious issues quite quickly, so it's better to be safe than sorry with diabetic podiatry care.