How to Avoid Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The most potentially damaging and dangerous complication for diabetics is the development of a foot ulcer. Diabetics, in particular, must be extremely careful to avoid this condition since it can go unnoticed due to the lack of sensation in the feet caused by peripheral neuropathy. A decrease in blood circulation is also common in diabetics, and this often results in adverse immune response that adversely affects the healing process. This sometimes deadly combination can lead to infected ulcers that infiltrate the bones in the foot.
Decreasing the chances of these ulcers forming is obviously very important to your health, so be sure to see your foot doctor for regular check-ups.
Tips for avoiding foot ulcers
- Foot inspections—Regularly check for any cuts, scrapes, punctures, or bruises. Use a mirror to inspect the bottoms of your feet, since this is where many foot ulcers first form.
- Keep clean—Keep your feet clean and dry to help avoid complications. Use a mild soap and warm water to gently clean your feet every day.
- Blood sugar—Try to follow your dietary guidelines and check your glucose levels regularly.
- Stop smoking—Smoking shrinks your blood vessels, with a resultant decrease in blood circulation. Quit smoking and avoid a wide variety of other health problems.
- Custom orthotic inserts and comfortable shoes—Consult with your podiatrist for assistance with specially made shoes for diabetic patients. Custom formed orthotic inserts can also be created for added stability and comfort.
- Alcohol consumption—Drinking alcohol can increase the chance of falls and injuries and it is best to limit or stop all alcohol consumption, especially if you are having balance and stability problems.
If you notice a wound on your feet that isn’t healing properly, seek medical attention right away.
At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts. Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.