According to the National Institute of Health, 15% to 25% of diabetes mellitus patients will develop a foot ulcer during their lifetime. Foot injuries and infections pose considerable risks for diabetic patients. That is why timely diabetic foot care Carmel is essential for people with metabolic conditions. Discover the causes and tips for keeping your feet healthy.
Why is foot care essential?
Your foot handles all the weight from your body, whether you are walking or jogging. Since half of diabetes patients have nerve problems, the strain can cause many complications.
The shape of your foot can also increase the risk of foot problems. Patients with flat feet are more susceptible to neuropathic complications that trigger ulcers.
Diabetes patients are prone to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the blood vessels. Atherosclerosis impacts blood circulation and limits the supply of nutrients and oxygen. That is why the ulcer takes much longer to heal than for people without diabetes.
Additionally, the physiological and neurological changes in diabetes patients increase their risk of injuries or infections. Even wounds from a minute object like a pebble can cause recurring ulcers. These foot problems may result in a toe, foot, or limb amputation.
How to prevent foot problems
You can reduce the risk of foot ulcers by taking several practical steps. They include:
- Minimize your foot’s exposure to moisture: Moisture encourages microbial growth around the infected site. It is crucial to keep your feet warm throughout the different seasons. Consider wearing socks tailored for diabetes patients to bed if your feet are cold.
- Blood sugar regulation: Regulating your blood sugar will reduce your risk of infections. High levels weaken your immune system and impact the healing process. It may also cause nerve damage and problems with blood circulation.
- Avoid smoking: Nicotine can speed up atherosclerosis and reduces blood flow. Your feet take longer to heal, and the nicotine may accelerate tissue damage.
- Wear shoes whenever necessary: Walking without shoes places you at risk of injuries and infections. Avoid going barefoot, and check your shoes for pebbles and foreign objects before wearing them.
- Routine foot exams: A podiatric specialist specializing in foot care can identify benign symptoms of ulcers. At the earliest stages, the wound is less challenging to manage. Regular checks can limit nerve and vascular damage before they cause complications.
Several triggers, such as fungal infections, injuries, and foot conditions, can worsen a foot ulcer. You will need to visit a foot care specialist if you notice symptoms such as:
- Numbness or pain in your feet or limbs
- Athletes foot or rashes between the toes
- Considerable changes in nail and skin color
- Foot conditions like Ingrown toenails, bunions, or hammer toes
- Swelling or sensitivity around your joints
Your doctor will examine your feet and review your medical history before planning the treatment. Foot care interventions vary depending on the patient’s health status. Nonetheless, addressing foot problems reduces the risk of infections and complications.
To schedule a personalized consultation, call Kyrou Podiatry Associates or book an appointment online.