Because diabetes impacts the body’s circulation and nerve health, individuals living with this disease are at risk for developing foot issues.

Foot ulcers, which resemble open sores, are among the most common orthopedic problems that diabetic patients have to deal with. If left unattended, these lacerations can become severe, and even result in the need for amputation.

The good news is that with proper diabetic and wound care management, as well as simple enhancements to your lifestyle, it is possible to avoid amputation due to ulcers. Here are some useful tips for maintaining your health:

Do a foot inspection everyday

While doing a thorough foot check each day might feel excessive, this is one of the best – and easiest – ways to avoid an unwanted ulcer. The Mayo Clinic recommended taking a few minutes each day to inspect for any damage, including cracks, blisters, sores, scrapes and bruises of all sizes. You should also take note of any swelling, redness or other irregularities. The source suggested using a hand mirror or asking a friend to assist you when looking at the bottoms of your feet.

In addition to physically inspecting your feet, it is important to assess how they feel when exposed to certain sensations, explained Healthline. Use feathers to gage how your feet respond to light touching, and regularly check if you can feel the difference between warm and cool temperatures, recommended the source.

Quit smoking

Smoking cigarettes negatively impacts your overall health and can exacerbate the medical issues associated with diabetes. Diabetics who smoke are at a higher risk of developing foot complications, as smoking slows circulation, impedes efficient wound healing and makes it harder to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reported Healthline.

Be careful around your toenails
Toenails that are too long can cut into the skin of your feet, which is why they should be kept short and neat. It is also very easy to cut yourself while trimming your nails, however, so practice vigilance when performing this task, or ask a friend or physician to do it for you, recommended Health magazine.

Visit the doctor early and often

According to The Mayo Clinic, people with diabetes should get professional foot checks at least once per year. That way, your doctor can keep tabs on any circulation problems or nerve damage you may be experiencing. The source also recommended visiting the doctor when you sustain any foot damage, no matter how small, as your physician can guide you through proper wound healing procedures.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.