Diabetes and foot health: Role of a podiatrist in diabetic foot care

6 min read

Millions of people across the world are suffering from a serious health condition called diabetes. Common diabetes complications include nerve damage and chronic kidney and heart diseases. Nerve damage is the underlying reason that foot complications are common among diabetics. The debilitating foot related issues that affect the quality of life of a diabetic patient are infections, ulcers and even amputations. Studies suggest that foot ulcers are the reason behind 80% of diabetic foot amputations.

Therefore, regular diabetic foot care with help of a podiatrist is essential. A podiatrist is a foot doctor who is well-equipped with the knowledge, skills, and treatment techniques to help patients maintain optimal foot health. These specialists can help manage and prevent the complications of diabetic foot. 

 Diabetes and foot health: Role of a podiatrist in diabetic foot care

Why is foot health crucial for diabetics?


Foot related issues are extremely common among diabetics and studies suggest that over 25% of diabetics are diagnosed with some kind of foot condition. The underlying reason behind the common foot complications in diabetics is nerve damage. As a result, a diabetic faces challenges of reduced circulation, numbness and loss of sensation in the foot region. Their condition makes them vulnerable to foot ulcers, infections and other chronic conditions that sometimes even lead to life-threatening amputations.

Routine consultations with a podiatrist are helpful in preventing and managing the complications of nerve damage. A podiatrist can assess the level of nerve damage that occurred due to uncontrollable blood sugar levels, moreover, these specialists can provide timely diabetic foot ulcer treatmentto prevent severe cases of infections.

Ignoring foot health or delaying diabetic foot care can be fatal. Reduced circulation affects the ability to quickly heal wounds, whereas loss of sensation sometimes transforms minor cuts or nicks into severe infection causing foot ulcers. On the other hand, routine appointments with a podiatrist are beneficial for detecting problems at the onset and getting effective treatment.

What is included in podiatrist-offered diabetic foot care?


As stated above, foot-related complications are common in diabetics. Therefore, routine check-ups by a foot doctor become essential. Below is a list of available podiatry diabetic foot care services:

  1. Routine foot examination: Podiatrist thoroughly assesses the foot and investigates any changes in the feet and toes. This helps in detecting potential problems and preventing serious complications. During a routine foot exam, a podiatrist conducts a physical exam to check any signs of swelling, redness, numbness, blisters, cuts or other skin and nail abnormalities.
  2. Foot care education:Foot hygiene is of utmost importance for a diabetic. They should keep their feet clean and dry. Therefore, using the right type of footwear or socks is mandatory. Moreover, there is a special foot cleaning and care regime that should be followed by every diabetic. Podiatrists specialize in diabetic foot care and they can educate their patients about these basic but essential steps to avoid injuries and infections.
  3. Diabetic foot ulcer treatment: Specialized wound care becomes essential in the case of diabetic foot ulcers. Delaying the treatment may invite infection or worsen the condition that foot amputation becomes the last option. As stated above, diabetics lose their ability to quickly heal wounds, so specialized wound care offered by a podiatrist is helpful in promoting healing and minimizing the risk of infection. Foot ulcer treatment involves wound dressing, antibiotic treatment and some advanced therapies which are not a feasible option if a diabetic is taking care of the wound on its own.
  4. Orthotics: Poor blood flow in the lower extremities results in a tingling sensation, numbness and swelling. Thereby, consultation with a podiatrist is useful to alleviate the pain. A podiatrist can conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment and recommend the type of shoe inserts or orthotics that are needed to reduce or redistribute the pressure under the feet. Lack of support or ill-fitted footwear often results in foot deformities or structural issues in diabetics, which increase the risk of ulcers and foot injuries. Therefore, consultation for New Balance Diabetic Shoes and custom orthotics from a podiatrist becomes essential.
  5. Diabetes management: In addition to personalized foot care, a podiatrist may also suggest ways to manage diabetes and keep the risk of foot related complications minimal. Podiatrists may work with a diabetic and develop an exercise plan that can improve cardiovascular health and also improve blood circulation levels. Stretching exercises not just improve strength and flexibility but also helps in reducing insulin resistance. Hence, routine visits to a foot doctor are crucial for diabetics to minimize foot related complications.



The devastating effects of poorly managed blood sugar levels can be life-threatening. Though, foot ulcers and lower limb amputations can be avoided with thorough foot examinations and routine visits to a podiatrist. These experts play a crucial role in managing footconditions and preventing the risk of debilitating foot ulcers and other complications.

If you are searching for the best podiatrist tustin ca thenschedule an appointment at the Orange County Foot and Ankle Group. The board certified podiatrists are widely knowledgeablein providing top-notch diabetic foot care. Contact now and schedule an appointment for personalized treatment plans, specialized wound care and for guidance for custom orthotics at OCFA. Their top-level personalized care is available at Tustin as well as Huntington Beach and Fullerton. Further, Medicare and other major health insurances are also accepted at OCFA. So why wait anymore? Connect with the leaders of diabetic foot care and improve the quality of life.


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