Diabetic Foot Care

It is estimated that 24 million Americans live with diabetes. If you are familiar with this condition, it should come as no surprise that it is the leading cause of non-injury amputations for legs, feet, and toes. That may sound dire, but there is hope – proper diabetic foot care can allow you to lead a healthy, active life. Even better, you can avoid becoming an amputation statistic with the help of a preventative plan!

What you need to know about diabetic foot careCommon Risks for Diabetic Feet

When you have diabetes, your feet are presented with unique risks. Becoming knowledgeable about these risks will serve to help you prevent common foot problems experienced by those who have the disease. Doing so is also the best way for you to avoid serious, life-changing consequences.

Individuals who are diabetic commonly face the following health risks:

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that reduces your circulation and blood flow, which can be especially problematic for your feet. The limited blood flow has implications for how well your body can heal itself from infections. This increases the seriousness of infections and other ailments that otherwise healthy people take for granted.

Infections

When you have diabetes, any injury to your feet may lead to an infection, even if it is minor. Cuts, abrasions, and blisters pose an increased risk due to restricted blood flow. When they do not heal properly, it increases the risk of foot ulcers and infection, both of which can possibly result in amputation if left untreated.

You can help prevent an infection by conducting a daily inspection for any cuts, signs of redness, or anything else that is out of the ordinary. In some ways, your daily inspection can become the best tool for helping to keep you healthy. We can share the best diabetic foot care practices with your and help you to understand what you need to look for in these checks.

Neuropathy

If you ever experience numbness, burning, or tingling in your feet, you may have neuropathy. Neuropathy is essentially nerve damage that leads to signals either not being transmitted to your brain, or transmitted incorrectly. The danger in this situation is that you may not be aware of it when you suffer a cut or abrasion or develop a blister. These conditions put you at heightened risk of infection, so you need to address them properly. Neuropathy can also lead you to develop other problems like Charcot foot or hammertoes.

Charcot Foot

This foot condition is caused by bones that are brittle because they do not receive adequate nourishment from the diminished blood flow. The fragile bones can fracture. Combined with neuropathy, you may not be aware of this condition and will continue walking as usual, which leads to increased damage and disintegration of your foot structure. Charcot foot often results in severely deformed feet and can greatly increase the risk of infection.

Daily Care Tips for Diabetic Feet

Daily care can help you decrease your risk of developing serious conditions like foot ulcers or infection. The following tips will help you to keep your feet as healthy as possible:

  • Inspect your feet every night, before going to bed, for any red spots, cuts, sores, blisters, or anything out of the ordinary.
  • Be sure to prevent infection by keeping your feet clean and dry. Especially take the time to dry the areas between your toes!
  • In cold weather, keep your feet warm and be sure to wear socks and shoes, even in the house.
  • Help stimulate blood flow and circulation to your feet by exercising.
  • Give up smoking! This is simply a must-do, whether or not you have diabetes, because it contributes to poor circulation.

As soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact A Step Up Podiatry, LLC, and make the earliest possible appointment. Catching and treating a problem early can help you avoid long-term damage and serious medical conditions. Call our Manalapan Township, NJ office at (732) 446-7136 or use our online form to schedule your appointment with us today. Together we can develop a diabetic foot care plan to keep you safe!