WHAT IS A PODIATRIST?
Podiatrists specialize in medical care of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. They must have a doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.) degree from a college of podiatric medicine. Podiatrists are sometimes referred to as foot doctors, foot and ankle surgeons, or podiatric surgeons. Podiatrists work in private practices, hospitals, and clinics, and may become professors at colleges of podiatric medicine, department chiefs, and hospital administrators.
I AM DIABETIC. DO I REALLY NEED TO SEE A PODIATRIST?
Yes! Even the most controlled diabetic needs to be seen by a podiatrist at least once yearly. Important issues such as loss of sensation, decreased circulation, and other foot deformities can be discovered during the examination.
I AM DIABETIC. WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID FOOT PROBLEMS THAT LEAD TO AMPUTATIONS?
First and foremost, inspect your feet daily. If you notice any redness, new onset of swelling, drainage, or odor coming from your foot, IT IS NOT NORMAL! If you have difficulty reaching your feet, ask a family member, friend, or your home health nurse to assist you.
Inspect your shoes for torn seams, worn-out soles or holes in the sole of your shoe. These are indications your shoegear needs to be replaced. Your podiatrist can evaluate your need for diabetic shoegear. Never walk barefoot indoors nor outdoors.
If you smoke, quit!
Avoid pedicures from nail salons.