DIABETIC FOOT CARE

Understanding & Treatment Options for Diabetic Foot Care

DIABETIC FOOT CARE

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when blood glucose levels are too high, and the body cannot properly use insulin, a hormone that helps glucose reach your cells to give them energy. Diabetes leads to a weakened immune system that can cause severe damage to the eyes, heart, kidney, nerves, and feet if left untreated. Diabetic foot care is a significant concern for those experiencing the most severe effects of diabetes.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

People with diabetes often face feet problems such as diabetic foot ulcers due to a damaged nervous system. When the nervous system is weakened, the nerves can’t effectively send messages to and from the feet. If left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can lead to gangrene and amputation of the foot. Schedule an appointment today and call us at 305.853.5151 to learn more about diabetic foot care options.

Symptoms of a Diabetic Foot Ulcer

People with diabetes can lose the ability to feel, sweat and produce oil in the feet causing wounds that the body is often unable to heal. Signs for diabetic foot ulcers include:

  • Pain in the legs
  • Skin color changes
  • Ingrown and fungal toenails
  • Bleeding corns and calluses
  • Swelling of the foot ankle ankle
  • Numbness in the feet and toes
  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal
  • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

What Causes Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Diabetes occurs when the immune system cannot process insulin destroys insulin. As a result, some underlying causes of diabetic foot ulcers are:

  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity

Symptoms of A Diabetic Foot Ulcer

People with diabetes can lose the ability to feel, sweat and produce oil in the feet causing wounds that the body is often unable to heal. Signs for diabetic foot ulcers include:

  • Pain in the legs
  • Skin color changes
  • Ingrown and fungal toenails
  • Bleeding corns and calluses
  • Swelling of the foot ankle ankle
  • Numbness in the feet and toes
  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal
  • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
diabetic foot ulcers require a diabetic foot care protocol

Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

There is no cure for diabetes but with proper diet, exercise and medical care, an individual with diabetes can enjoy a full and active life. The best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is through strategic prevention. Conventional treatments of diabetic foot ulcers include:

  • Debridement: Removal of dead skin and tissue
  • Off-loading: Taking the pressure of the infected foot
  • Keep the ulcer clean and bandaged with medication 
  • Monitor glucose levels and blood circulation

Surgery

If non-surgical treatments do not work, surgery may be necessary to ensure proper healing. Some standard surgical techniques used to relieve diabetic foot ulcers include:

  • Shaving/excision of the bone
  • Correction of deformities such as bunions and hammertoe 
  • Bariatric surgery: Weight loss surgery that helps obese people and people with diabetes maintain normal glucose levels 

How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The key to preventing diabetic foot ulcers are regular diabetic foot care protocol conducted by a podiatrist. On top of regular screenings, the following are ways to prevent a diabetic foot ulcer:

  • Never walk barefoot.
  • Wear comfortable socks.
  • Inspect your feet daily.
  • Check your ankles, feet, and toes for cuts, bruises, and sores.
  • Look for changes in the toenails such as thickening or discoloration.
  • Have shoes properly measured and fitted.
  • Never try to remove feet deformities by yourself. Have a professional remove callus, corns, and warts.
  • Physical activity like brisk walks can keep your weight down and improve circulation.

An integrated team approach is necessary for treating diabetes due to it affecting many body parts. Our doctors play an integral role in treating, preventing and performing successful amputations. If you are experiencing diabetic foot ulcer symptoms, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 305.853.5151 with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore the proper diabetic foot care treatment for you.

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