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Help Avoid Diabetic Foot Complications with Tips from Podiatrist and Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Stéphanie Maurais, DPM


If you have diabetes, your whole body can be affected. The good thing is that with the proper care and prevention measures, you can keep your diabetes in check and prevent many of the complications associated with your condition. Podiatrist and Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Stéphanie Maurais, DPM wants to remind you that diabetes can affect your feet, too! Follow her care and prevention tips below and make an appointment with a Podiatrist if you notice any alarming changes.

The Importance of Diabetes and Foot Care

Diabetes is a condition affecting the regulation of blood sugar in an individual’s system. Some people are born with this condition, while others may develop it later in life. Although diabetes is a definite concern, the condition can be managed with lifestyle changes and/or medications. Many diabetic patients worry about possible complications with their feet and are referred to a Podiatrist for evaluation.

When performing a diabetic foot evaluation, a Podiatrist will assess a variety of things to establish the risk for diabetes-related foot complications. They will look at the shape of your feet, the skin, as well as evaluate your sensation and circulation. They’ll also discuss your activity level, lifestyle and shoe gear choices to determine if changes need to be made for your foot health.

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet

Diabetic complications can affect varying aspects of your feet. Diabetes can:

  • Change the shape of your feet and cause contractures of the toes called hammertoes
  • Cause tightness or weakness in muscles and tendons
  • Affect your nerves by causing impaired protective sensation; losing feeling in your feet and your ability to sense something is wrong
  • Burning, tingling, and numbness that will generally be more frequent and noticeable in the nighttime
  • Decrease arterial circulation, increasing the risk for arterial blockage
  • Cause dryness, fissuring, thinning or thickening of the skin, leading to weaknesses in the skin increasing risk for developing a foot ulcer
  • Cause dryness, thinning, fissuring, or thickening of the toenails  
  • Make you more susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections

The range and severity of symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient, which is why it’s important to monitor your condition with your care team.

Prevention Tips for Diabetic Foot Complications

If you have diabetes, monitoring your condition and following your provider’s treatment plan is necessary to maintain your health. Here are some tips to follow to help prevent foot complications from diabetes:

  • Inspect feet daily, make it part of your shower/bath or bedtime routine. Ask for a family member to help if necessary. You can also use an unbreakable travel mirror to help assess the bottom of your feet if bending to see your feet is a problem.
  • Dry your feet well after showering or swimming, paying special attention to the areas in-between your toes.
  • Wear dry, clean socks at all times.
  • Inspect your shoes daily for anything that could have fallen in them that can potentially hurt your feet, and to also check for excessive wear and tear of your shoes.
  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing shoes without support.
  • Put moisturizer on your feet before bedtime to keep skin soft and resilient, but avoid applying the moisturizer in-between your toes.
  • Discuss your risk level, prevention measures, and how often you should get podiatric care with your podiatrist. Make sure to schedule and keep your follow-up visits!
  • Seek medical attention if you notice any changes in your feet, especially if it involves pain, redness, swelling, change in color, or you develop a fever.

Practicing these prevention tips can help you avoid complications and if complications do arise, ensure you get the care you need.

Podiatry and Diabetic Care

Caring for your feet is an essential piece of managing your diabetes. Make an appointment with a Podiatrist today to help you manage your diabetes and prevent foot complications.


Stéphanie Maurais, DPM, is a Podiatrist and Foot & Ankle Surgeon. She earned her Medical Degree at New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York, NY. She completed her Residency in Podiatric Medicine & Surgery at New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York, NY. Dr. Maurais is Board Certified in Podiatry, Foot & Ankle Surgery and has clinical interests in diagnostic imaging, diabetes, and wound care. She is providing care to patients in Middletown and Newburgh.