Diabetic Foot Care Specialist

Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute

Foot and Ankle Specialists & Podiatrists located in Scottsdale, AZ & Phoenix, AZ

Diabetic Foot Care Q & A

Diabetic Foot Care


High blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, leading to diabetic neuropathy. The numbness, tingling, or burning pain that you may feel are signals that you may have loss of sensation to your feet. This combination can put your feet at risk: diabetes may reduce blood flow to the feet and neuropathy may cause you not to notice injuries to your feet due to the decreased pain response. As a result, seemingly mild wounds become much more difficult to heal and resist infection. A wrinkle in your sock or a small cut can produce devastating limb threatening consequences such as an amputation.

Daily Foot Care


If you have diabetes, checking your feet daily will keep you walking and maintain your healthy lifestyle. If you have a callus that is painful or a blister that won’t heal, it is important to come to our facility sooner than later. Regular foot exams by a qualified foot and ankle specialist, daily self-inspection, and wearing protective footwear are keys to practicing preventative care.

To keep your feet healthy, follow these guidelines:


Cleaning your feet

  • Check the water temperature with your hand to make sure it is at a comfortable temperature. If the water is too hot, it can create burns to your skin.
  • Wash with warm, soapy water and avoid using a washcloth or scrub to prevent any accidental injuries
  • Avoid soaking your feet — especially when you have wounds. Soaking your feet can actually dry your feet, and when you have wounds, it creates an environment that is more susceptible to infections
  • Dry your feet thoroughly
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion to your feet and DO NOT put lotion in between your toes as these areas are especially prone to skin breakdown which lead to wounds.


Maintain your toenails

  • Cut straight across and do not attempt to cut into the corners of the nail or toe as it can cause an ingrown toenail
  • Use a nail fire or Emory board to gently round the edges of the nail
  • Do not attempt to use knives, scissors, or razor blades as they are too traumatic and can cause an accidental injury

If your nails are elongated and thickened, it is best to consult with Dr. McAlister before attempting to cut your own toenails. Thick nails can create pressure to the nail bed and can create injuries with improper footwear.

Daily Self-Inspection


Daily self-inspection is the most important thing you can do to protect your feet and prevent injuries from getting worse. Contact Dr. McAlister immediately if you see a problem with your feet, no matter how small it may seem.

  • Inspect your feet as often as you can, especially before and after taking off your shoes and socks and after showering.
  • Check between all toes
  • If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a handheld mirror or ask for help from family or friends

What to Look for

  • Blisters, cuts, or scratches

  • Color changes to your toes or feet

  • Areas of excessive dryness that can creates fissures

  • Calluses and corns which can indicate excessive pressures to your feet

  • Swelling which can be a sign of soft tissue or bone injury


Diabetic Shoes and Socks


It is important to wear proper socks and footwear to prevent any areas of excessive pressure that can create wounds. Avoid walking barefoot at all times as you may step on an object that can cause an injury. No single type of footwear is appropriate for everyone. Especially if you have a bunion and/or hammertoes, it is important to discuss with Dr. McAlister about selecting proper socks and footwear.

Call Dr. McAlister’s office today by calling 602-761-7819 to learn more about your Diabetic Foot Care options.