If you're diabetic, you know how important it is to control your blood sugars, to exercise and to watch your diet. But, do you and your family understand how important proper foot care is? Podiatry Today states that a full 15 percent of diabetics experience dangerous foot ulcers which can lead to localized infections, sepsis and even limb amputation. The professional staff at Diamond Podiatry in Quakertown, PA, wants you to understand diabetic wound care to improve your quality of life and prevent serious complications.
Causes of diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetics are prone to infection, decreased peripheral circulation and impaired sensation in the hands and feet. As such, even a small injury can cause an open sore (even down to the bone), callus build-up around the site, and infection.
Besides trauma to the foot, excess pressure or friction from poorly fitting shoes or bunched up socks can literally wear holes in the feet, particularly on the soles or on bony prominences such as the base of the big toe. Sometimes there's resulting pain. Sometimes the patient feels nothing at all. That's why primary care physicians and podiatrists urge their patients inspect their feet daily, looking for hard or reddened spots, abrasions, blisters or discolorations.
Finally, a big cause of impaired circulation in the diabetic foot is smoking. The doctors at Diamond Podiatry urge diabetics to start a smoking cessation program under the supervision of the primary care physician.
Diabetic wound care in Quakertown
Of course, blood glucose management is key to diabetic wound care. However, if a foot ulcer already has developed, you should see your podiatrist right away for treatment. He will evaluate your wound and chart out a care plan to heal it and to keep another from developing.
These steps commonly help diabetic foot wounds to heal successfully:
- Debridement of the wound This involves in-office removal of infected tissue and treatment with locally applied medications and/or oral antibiotics.
- Callus removal This takes pressure off the ulcer and helps correct gait problems.
- Decreasing pressure on the wound and any other areas prone to ulceration Your podiatrist may fit you with a special soft boot or cast or customized orthotics, or shoe inserts. He may simply recommend shoes which provide better support and more room in the toe box.
You can take control of your diabetes. Avoid foot ulcers with routine at-home care, and if you suspect you are developing a problem, contact Diamond Podiatry right away. The doctors and their staff want you to have the healthiest feet possible and a full, active life.
For an appointment at the Bethlehem or Macungie offices, call (610) 865-0311. In Quakertown, phone (215) 529-5222.