What do you need to know about diabetic foot care? If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, take a look at the top foot care questions answered.
Why Is Foot Care Important for People With Diabetes?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of diabetics have nerve damage. If you have diabetes-related nerve damage, you may not feel the sensations that could alert you to foot injuries, pain, cold, or heat. This means you could have podiatric issues that go unnoticed for days, weeks, or even months.
Along with reduced sensation, decreased blood flow to the feet could add to existing damage or cause serious podiatric problems. These issues put diabetics at risk for blisters, sores, and ulcers that are slow to heal. This increases the likelihood of developing an infection or other serious complications.
Constant care is the easiest way to reduce the foot-related risks of diabetes. Diabetic foot care should include self-care/self-exams and professional care from a podiatrist or other specialized medical provider.
What Types of Foot Care Do Diabetics Need?
Regular foot inspections or examinations are a first-line defense against infections, ulcerations, and other issues. Again, you can do these inspections daily at home and schedule regular doctor's appointments for a podiatric examination. Other ways to care for your feet include wearing the right shoes (shoes that protect your feet and fit well), washing your feet or soaking your feet daily, trimming your nails straight across (to avoid injuries), wearing clean, dry socks, keeping your feet dry, moisturizing the tops and bottoms of your feet, and wearing socks to bed.
What Should You Do About A Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Even though you may care for your feet, it's still possible to develop an ulcer or other similar issues. Do not attempt to diagnose or treat a foot injury or infection yourself. Instead, contact your doctor for an exam. The podiatrist can determine the best diabetic foot treatment for an ulcer, injury, or infection, Your doctor can also provide you with self-care instructions to reduce the ulcer and eliminate an infection at home.
Common diabetic foot ulcer and injury treatments include the removal of dead skin from the area (or debridement), the reduction of pressure in the area (also known as off-loading), the use of antibiotics or other medications to prevent or stop an infection, and managing blood glucose levels to reduce future risks. The medical provider may also apply a sterile dressing to the ulcer or wound area.
For more info, contact a local company like Advanced Podiatry and Wound Care.