Posts for tag: Diabetic Foot Care
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, find out why your foot health is something you shouldn’t mess with.
When you find out you have diabetes it might feel like everything has suddenly changed. Now there is so much more to think about when it comes to your health. You’ll be given lifestyle changes to adhere to. You may need to exercise more. You may need to change your diet; lose weight. Of course, it’s also important that you consider your foot health in all of this.
“Why?” you may ask. Well, seemingly innocuous foot problems for healthy individuals may not cause issues but it actually could cause serious complications for those with diabetes. Those with diabetes are prone to nerve damage, neuropathy and circulation problems, which can cause a loss of feeling in the feet. Plus, even the smallest of injuries can turn into something more serious if left untreated.
So, what should you do to keep your diabetic feet healthy? Fortunately, there is a simple list of things that you can do every day to ensure that your feet don’t experience problems:
- Examine your feet thoroughly everyday. This not only means the tops and sides but also the soles and in between your toes. If you are unable to do this yourself, turn to a friend or family member who can do it for you. Inspecting your feet daily will ensure that you catch a problem as quickly as possible.
- Call a podiatrist if you notice any cuts, wounds, sores, redness, ingrown toenails or other problems. It may seem a bit odd to call your foot doctor about such seemingly insignificant foot problems but it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. They can tell you whether it warrants a trip to the office.
- Make sure to wash your feet everyday. Seems like a simple enough task, right? Just make sure you are actually spending time washing every area of your feet with soap and warm water. Dry your feet off completely once you get out of the shower.
- It’s important to keep feet from drying out and you can easily help keep feet feeling smooth by applying a moisturizer every day. You should do this once you get out of the shower and dry off your feet to help lock in the moisture.
- Wear socks and shoes everywhere, even if it’s indoors. Going barefoot could leave you prone to potential injury. This is particularly important if you have nerve damage or have lost sensation in your feet, as you may not know that you’ve stepped on something.
If you have diabetes it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can always turn to for the care you need whenever you need it most. Problems can arise suddenly and it’s important that you have a foot specialist you can trust in.
Patients who have uncontrolled diabetic symptoms and infections that affect the feet sometimes have to face the possibility of living with a missing toe. There are preventative therapies available to heal the feet before this happens, but in some unfortunate cases amputation of a toe is necessary. Here are some tips from podiatrists for how to adapt to a missing toe and still live a normal, active life.
Reasons for Missing Toes
One of the most common causes for complications related to the feet and toes is uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic symptoms can cause foot ulcers, which are wounds that can become seriously infected and lead to the need for amputation of toes. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation, which starves the toes of the blood and oxygen needed to keep them healthy. The other common reason for a missing toe is a serious injury, such as a very heavy object falling on the foot.
Adapting to the Loss of a Toe
It’s true that you need your toes for balance and stability, but a missing toe is not the end of the world. Many people have learned to strengthen their other nine toes to walk and even run successfully. A podiatrist will likely recommend physical therapy and special exercises to help you to strengthen your muscles and adapt to a missing toe. Special shoes and toe fillers can be designed to provide you with the additional support you need. Prosthetics are also available to act as a toe replacement for athletes.
Protecting Your Feet and Toes
It’s important to take “steps” toward protecting your feet and toes to prevent future problems. Patients with diabetes must work closely with their doctor to get their blood glucose levels under control. That may include adopting a better diet, taking prescribed medication and checking blood sugar levels regularly. If you work at a job that puts your feet at risk, like construction or manufacturing, wear steeltoes boots or shoes at all times to protect your toes.
It is possible to live a normal life with a missing toe. Talk to your podiatrist if you have concerns about your feet—modern treatments and solutions are available to successfully relieve symptoms, strengthen your toes and bring your feet back to their full function.
Discover the telltale signs of a foot infection and what you can do to prevent diabeticrelated foot problems.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you likely know all too well there is a significant chance you may deal with a foot complication. While foot problems for healthy individuals often go away on their own, when you have diabetes maintaining good foot health is vitally important. Since diabetics are at an increased risk for lower limb amputation, it’s important to check your feet everyday for signs of infection. Here are some common foot problems you may face:
Athlete’s foot: This fungal infection is characterized by itching, cracked, and red skin on the foot. While there are some overthecounter treatments, if you have diabetes and are currently dealing with Athlete’s foot, we recommend talking to your podiatrist first. Your podiatrist may prescribe a stronger antifungal pill or cream to fight the infection.
Fungal nail infection: If you are suffering from brittle, discolored nails that are fragile and tend to crumble, then you may have a fungal infection. These nail infections are more difficult to treat, so talk to your podiatrist about whether oral medication or laser treatment is recommended.
Calluses/Corns: These are both the result of hard skin build up, with calluses developing on the bottoms of feet and corns developing on or between toes. These may develop from wearing shoes that rub against your skin. Sometimes using a corn pad can help cushion and protect the callus or corn from further damage while also promoting faster healing. However, talk to your podiatrist about certain medications that can help soften this condition.
Blisters: Just as friction from rubbing shoes can cause calluses and corns, they can also cause painful blisters. These blisters can become infected, and it’s important to leave blisters alone and not to pop them. Use an antibacterial gel or cream to help prevent infection and to protect the damaged skin.
Ulcers: These deep sores in the skin can easily become infected if not cared for properly. Poorly fitted shoes and even minor scrapes can cause ulcers to form. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your outcome. Talk to your podiatrist about the best treatment options for diabeticrelated foot ulcers.
Ingrown toenails: An ingrown toenail is when the edge of the nail grows or cuts into the skin, causing pain, swelling, and irritation. If you trim your toenails too short, or you crowd your toes into tight shoes, you are more likely to develop this problem.
How do you prevent these foot problems in those with diabetes?
The best thing you can do is seek medical attention and treatment for your diabetes. If your condition is under control, then you’re less likely to deal with these complications. Be sure to also practice good hygiene when it comes to cleaning and drying off your feet. Also, examine your feet each day to check for any changes or problems that may need additional care. Always trim toenails straight across and do not round the nail; doing this will prevent ingrown toenails.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s time to see your podiatrist right away for treatment. The sooner you seek treatment the better the prognosis. Don’t put off your foot health.
It is important to raise awareness for diabetes, but what does that mean for your feet? If you have diabetes, you may understand the importance of proper care and maintenance of your blood sugar levels. However, did you know that the health of your feet directly relate to your diabetes as well?
Your podiatrist understands the importance of diabetic foot care, which is why they continue to raise awareness for the importance of proper diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist is available to provide you with some helpful tips for caring for your feet if you suffer from diabetes. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips.
The 5 Helpful Tips for Diabetic Foot Care
The importance of understanding how to care for your feet, whether you have diabetes or not, can't be underestimated. Here are the top 5 tips your podiatrist wants to emphasize for diabetic foot care:
- Inspect Your Feet Daily – When it comes to your feet, daily inspection is vital in the maintenance of your health. Even the smallest prick can cause immense pain and infection.
- Wash Your Feet in Lukewarm Water – Do not wash your feet in ice cold water or scalding hot water, as these can cause harm to your feet. When washing, remember to use lukewarm water so that you do not irritate your feet.
- Cut Your Nails Carefully – By taking care when you cut your nails, you can prevent ingrown toenails, while also preventing cuts or other complications. Make sure to cut your nails straight across, rather than curved or at an angle.
- Never Treat Corns or Calluses Yourself – We all know how tempting it can be to perform home surgery on your corns or calluses, but please refrain from doing so! By attempting to treat your corns or calluses, you are putting the health of your feet at risk for infection and other complications.
- Take Care of Your Diabetes – This tip may seem like an obvious one, but we cannot reiterate it enough—take care of your diabetes. If you properly care for your diabetes, you are paving the way for health and success.
By following these guidelines laid out by your podiatrist, we hope that you will continue to take care of your feet. If you have diabetes, constant monitoring of your feet is very important. Remember to look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters and ulcers, and to contact us immediately if you notice any of these things.