Carolina Foot Care Associates, PLLC


Medical and Surgical Treatment of the Foot

Statesville (704) 873-9797 / Clemmons (336) 766-8400

 

Diabetic Foot Care

Your feet deserve special attention when you have diabetes. The likelihood of serious problems such as infections and open sores is reduced by careful daily inspection. These problems are a major cause of foot and leg amputations. A minor wound to some can become a serious problem for a diabetic.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus has been known for hundreds of years, and much progress has been made in its treatment to allow people with the condition to lead normal lives. Still, the number of diabetics is increasing. Around 600,000 new cases are found each year, not counting those whose condition is not known. Infection

We recommend that you schedule regular visits to your foot and ankle specialist at least twice a year. Progress has been made in the treatment of diabetes to allow you to lead a normal life. Your podiatric physician will assess your foot health and make any necessary recommendations about your treatment to prevent more serious problems. Foot Ulcers

Excessive pressure or trauma may cause a small opening in the skin of a diabetic known as an ulcer. This may be complicated by poor circulation or neuropathy. Bacterial growth in an ulcer may create a long lasting infection that can lead to problems with the bone. Vascular Diseases

Diabetes is one of several factors that may contribute to premature hardening of the arteries. Diabetics are prone to narrowing of the arteries in the lower extremities. Signs of poor circulation are pains in the calves while walking, loss of hair growth on the toes, or the toenails becoming irregular. Your podiatrist can help diagnose these conditions. Neuropathy

People with diabetes mellitus may develop neuropathy - loss or dulling of the senses of the feet. People with neuropathy have difficulty sensing hot and cold, sharp and dull. A neuropathic person can walk with a sharp object in his foot unnoticed until it sets up an infectious situation. A hot bath or hot water bottle on the feet also can cause serious burns for a person with neuropathy. Treatment of Ulcers

Conservative treatment of ulcers may include bed rest and antibiotics prescribed by one of our podiatric physicians. In addition, we may suggest foot supports to redistribute the weight across the entire foot. When ulcer-caused bone problems or gangrene continue, some for of amputation may be necessary. With proper preventive care, this usually can be avoided. Staying on Your Feet

Diabetics need to take special care of their feet, and there are a few rules you can follow to improve your foot health and general health.

Check your feet every day. Look for redness, swelling, cuts or sores. if you can't check your feet, have a friend or relative do it for you. As part of your daily inspection routine, wash your feet and dry them well.

Avoid walking barefoot to prevent cuts and injuries that may occur.

Don't expose your feet to excessive heat such as hot water bottles, hot water and hot sun (as in sunburn).

Stay away from home remedies you can buy without a prescription. For example, corn removing medications may contain acid and this destroys tissue, causing an ulcer. Keep your nails trimmed straight across and don't dig into the corners of your toenails. The best time to cut them is after bathing, when the nails are soft.

Wear shoes that fit comfortably at the widest part of your foot. Break in new shoes over a period of time, not all at once.

Get a foot examination periodically by a podiatric physician.

Exercise regularly. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for most diabetics. Check with your family doctor and podiatric physician to make sure walking is right for you.

Following these rules of careful attention to the feet will allow you to realize a full, active lifestyle. Preventive care is the name of the game in treating diabetes.

American Diabetes Association