With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to properly feel their feet. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur.
Treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, but prevention remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet, how to recognize early signs of feet problems, and what is a reasonable to manage at home and when to call a podiatrist or seek emergency treatments.
Take Care of your Feet at Home
If you have diabetes, you should examine your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and ail problems. If you need help in examination, get someone to help you or use a mirror. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries will be slow to heal and without healing, your wound is at risk for infection.
After any trauma, no matter how minor, examination of your feet is necessary. Report any abnormalities you may find to your local Brooksville podiatrist. In addition, a water-based moisturizer will help to prevent dry skin and cracking of your feet. Avoid elastic socks and hosiery because they may impair circulation of your feet and ankles.
Exercising regularly will also improve bone and joint health in your feet and legs, improve circulation, and stabilize blood sugar levels. Consult your Spring Hill podiatrist prior to beginning any exercise program for approval. It is always important to work closely with your podiatrist and physician for the best outcomes.
Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Problems
When your feet become numb, they are at risk for becoming deformed. One way your feet may become deformed is through ulcers. Another way is Charcot foot (“Sharko”), a bone condition. This is the most serious of foot problems that you can face because it warps the shape of your foot when your bones fracture and disintegrate. You can continue to walk because it doesn’t hurt, but it is not good for your feet to continue walking on them.
Persistent pain can be a symptom of a sprain, strain, bruise, overuse, improperly fitting shoes, or an underlying infection of the foot or ankle. Any break in the skin is a very serious problem and can result from abnormal wear and tear, injury, or infection. In addition, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and ingrown toenails may lead to more serious bacterial infections.
When to seek Medical Care
At home prevention and examination is highly important, but it is also necessary to contact a podiatrist when symptoms may worsen or persist. Consult your podiatrist if you have cuts or breaks in the skin or have an ingrown nail. Additionally, if severe pain in the feet or legs is present visiting your local podiatrist is highly recommended.
Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. At home inspections and early detection along with trips to your podiatrist can go a long way when it comes to diabetes and taking care of your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your Brooksville podiatrist about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy for a lifetime.
Dr. Charles Chapel of Chapel Podiatry is a leading Spring Hill podiatrist and Brooksville. Offering an array of podiatric treatments, including heel pain, wound care and diabetic foot care in Brooksville and Spring Hill, Dr. Chapel is qualified to handle any foot care need for patients of every age.