Posts for tag: Diabetic Foot Care
The Importance of Proper Diabetic Foot Care
You take care of your diabetes by watching your diet and tracking your blood sugar levels, but also crucial to your health and safety is protecting your diabetic feet. Especially susceptible to cuts and infections, proper care of your feet is of the upmost importance.
Dr. Esther Barnes of Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT, can help you protect and treat your diabetic feet. Here is what you should know about diabetic foot care.
How does diabetes affect my feet?
Diabetes causes a reduction in blood flow to your feet, as well as nerve damage that impairs your ability to feel pain or discomfort. Because of the lack of sensation, you may experience a cut or irritation that goes unnoticed, leading to sores or wounds. The prolonged lack of treatment, along with diminished blood flow, increases the chance these cuts will become infected and slow to heal.
The combination of poor circulation and lingering sores could lead to gangrene, the death of tissue, requiring amputation of the foot, toe or part of the leg. Visit your podiatrist at our Kalispell, MT office immediately if you have open, pussing, or prolonged wounds on your feet.
How do I know if my diabetic feet are unhealthy?
Signs that your feet are not being properly cared for include numbness, recurring sores or blisters, infected corns, yellowing and thickening toenails or a tingling and burning sensation. Make sure to report any symptoms you are experiencing with your podiatrist auto our Kalispell, MT office.
How do I care for my diabetic feet?
Diligent, thorough foot care is essential for keeping your feet healthy. Make sure to see your podiatrist at our Kalispell, MT office for regular examinations in addition to practicing the following:
- Clean your feet in lukewarm water and dry them thoroughly
- Regularly examine your feet for cuts, inflammation, swelling, discharge or signs of irritation
- Keep your feet moisturized, but ensure the spaces between your toes are dry to prevent the growth of fungus
- Trim your toenails straight across, leaving a portion of the white tip visible
- Make sure to wear clean, dry socks and shoes at all times, both indoors and outdoors
- Only wear shoes that fit well, and check the interior for any foreign objects before putting them on.
At Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT, your foot health is our priority. Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist today by calling (406) 755-2818.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often developing from a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. Damage to the nerves in the legs and feet diminishes skin sensation, making it difficult to detect or notice pain or temperature changes. A minor sore or scrape on your foot may get infected simply because you don't know it is there. A decrease in blood flow makes it difficult for these injuries to heal. And when a wound isn't healing, it's at risk for infection. Left untreated, minor foot injuries can result in ulceration and even amputation.
Foot Care for Diabetics
Simple daily foot care can help prevent serious health problems associated with diabetes.
We recommend the following tips for keeping your feet healthy and preventing foot complications:
- Wash feet daily. Keep feet clean with mild soap and lukewarm water, and dry thoroughly.
- Moisturize. Moisturize daily to keep dry skin from cracking, and avoid putting lotion between your toes as this may cause infection.
- Trim your toenails carefully. Cut straight across, avoiding the corners; visit our office for assistance
- Never treat corns or calluses on your own. Visit your podiatrist for treatment.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold.
- Keep the blood flowing in your feet and legs. Elevate your feet when sitting, don't sit cross-legged, and stay active.
- Inspect your feet every day. Check your feet for cuts, redness, swelling and nail problems. Contact our practice if you notice anything unusual, even the slightest change.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow in the feet
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and never walk barefoot
- Visit our practice for regular exams. Seeing a podiatrist at our office regularly can help prevent diabetic foot problems.
At our practice, we understand that living with diabetes can be challenging. Let's discuss simple ways you can reduce your risk of foot injuries. We'll work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and gets you back on your feet so you can enjoy the things you love. Remember to inspect your feet every day. If you detect an injury, no matter how small, come in for an exam right away.
UPDATE 3/23/20: In attempt to maintain the safety of our patients, employees, and the community, the office is physically closed, other than for the care of patients with urgent concerns / emergenices only. Attempts will be made to return phone calls Monday through Thursday from 9AM to 1PM. Please use the "Request an Appointment" resource above to request an appointment. If an established patient, we encourage you to log into the Patient Portal and send a message to Dr. Barnes or the office with any questions or concerns. Thank you.
TeleHealth and Tele-Visits in the time of COVID-19
Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, PC has initiated a TeleHealth Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic for a number of reasons:
1.) Our top priority has always been, and continues to be, Patient, Employee, Community Health and Safety.
2.) With the primary goal of triaging, or prioritizing what's urgent and what's not, Dr. Barnes seeks to help patients with the foot concerns over the phone or computer. Caring for patients in this way, and arranging for visits in clinic if necessary (infections, ulcerations, injuries) and in a controlled environment, she hopes to do her part in allowing to the Urgent Cares and Emergencies Rooms help those with needs related to the virus.
3.) Although Dr. Barnes obviously cannot physicially treat you or other patients over the phone or computer, she can hopefully see if your concern would be best treated physically, and arrange for this to be done. If she can help give you direction and advice over the computer or phone, she will do so. This particularly applies to you if you have foot pain, as many treatment options can be relayed in this way (stretches, shoe recommendations, orthotic recommendations).
4.) During this time of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty, Dr. Barnes wants to do her part in helping you do the things you need to do (caring for a loved one, running outside for stress relief, or walking on a treadmill at home, for example) without foot pain interfering. She does't want you to have to wait months or an indefinite period of time for you to get back on your feet! "CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A TELEVISIT."