Diabetic Foot CareThayne, WY
If you have diabetes, foot care must be an essential component of your everyday routine. Due to nerve damage and lack of oxygen delivery to the feet, people with diabetes are at risk for ulcers and other forms of damage. Making diabetic foot care a part of your daily routine can prevent these problems from occurring.
As a podiatrist, we offer diabetic foot care at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic in Thayne and the surrounding area. We can provide pain relief and more. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Foot problems are widespread in people with diabetes. This is due in part to diabetic neuropathy that develops over time. This condition may cause tingling and pain, causing the affected individual to lose sensation in the feet. Once an individual loses feeling in the feet, they may not be able to notice sensations from a blister on the foot or a pebble inside the sock, leading to cuts and sores that can become infected.
Although anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, specific populations are more at risk than others. These include those who:
- Are over 40 years of age
- Are overweight
- Have had diabetes for a long time (especially if they regularly have blood sugar higher than the target levels)
- Have hard-to-manage blood sugar levels
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high cholesterol
However, there are some things all populations can do to prevent nerve damage or stop it from getting worse. It is crucial to keep blood sugar in the target range as much as possible. Patients should also:
- Eat healthier
- Live an active lifestyle
- Refrain from smoking
- Take medicines as prescribed
Such tips can also help patients better manage their diabetes overall.
Low Blood Flow
Diabetes can also lower the amount of blood flow in the feet. This may make it harder for a sore or an infection to heal. An infection that does not heal can lead to gangrene. If gangrene and foot ulcers do not get better with treatment, amputation may be necessary to prevent the infection from spreading further. As such, good foot care is essential to overall diabetic healthcare.
Healthy Feet Tips
Even a small cut can lead to severe consequences in people with diabetes. The condition can also make it harder for the immune system to heal injuries or resist infection. Luckily, patients with diabetes can reduce their risk of complications by following a few simple diabetic foot care guidelines.
To begin with, people with diabetes should inspect their feet for any irregularities daily. If any corns or calluses are present, patients should call our podiatrist right away. They should never try treating these on their own. Patients should also gently bathe their feet in lukewarm (never hot) water. Follow up by moisturizing the feet (never between the toes, as this can encourage fungal infection). Nails should be cut carefully, straight across, and filed at the edges.
Socks should always be clean and dry. Patients may want to consider socks made specifically for people with diabetes. Additionally, patients with feet that get cold at night may want to wear socks to bed. It is crucial to keep feet both warm and dry. Use antiperspirant on the soles of the feet if necessary. Never walk around barefoot, and shake out the shoes and check the insides for any foreign objects before wearing.
When to See a Podiatrist
With the proper maintenance and care, individuals with diabetes can lead normal lives. However, this also knows when to seek medical attention. Patients experiencing any changes in skin color or temperature should call us right away. Swelling in the foot or ankle, pain in the legs, and open sores on the feet are also cause for concern. Our doctors can also help treat ingrown or infected toenails, corns or calluses, dry cracks in the skin, and unusual foot odor.
Call Us Today
Diabetic foot care is easier than you may think. We at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the possible complications of diabetic foot problems?
Diabetic neuropathy can make it difficult for patients to feel when they have a small cut or wound. Immune system problems, along with nerve and blood vessel damage, also make such injuries more likely. As such, skin and bone infections are not uncommon. These may turn into abscesses. Patients may also experience gangrene when blood flow to the fingers and toes is cut off, possibly making amputation necessary. Nerve damage can also weaken the muscles in the feet and deform the feet.
What kinds of shoes are right for diabetic foot care?
Shoes should be comfortable and well-fitting, with adequate room in the toe-box. Make sure to only buy shoes made out of breathable materials, such as leather, canvas, or suede. Only wear shoes that offer proper support (i.e., no flip-flops, very high heels, et cetera), and opt instead for shoes that can be adjusted with buckles, laces, or Velcro. Change shoes every five hours if necessary, and always wear clean, dry socks or non-binding pantyhose. If all else fails, ask our doctors about special shoes custom-made for your feet.
What is the proper way to clip my toenails if I have diabetes?
Clip your toenails when your nails are soft — usually after a shower or bath or after you have washed your feet. Do not clip in a curved fashion, as this encourages the toenail to grow into the skin. Use an emery board on the edges rather than clipping the corners. If your toenails are thick or yellowed or you cannot see well, our team can help.
What should I avoid doing to my feet if I have diabetes?
Avoid using antiseptic solutions on the skin without doctor approval, as they may burn the skin. Similarly, you should never use an electric blanket, heating pad, or hot water bottle on the feet. Never walk barefoot, even in the house. Do not try to remove corns, calluses, or other foot lesions by yourself, and do not sit with your legs crossed or stand in one position for extended periods.
How common are ulcers in people with diabetes?
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