When you have diabetes, it’s imperative that you keep a close watch on your blood sugar levels and diet. However, there are more things to be aware of than just that. Diabetic foot care is essential to keeping not only your feet healthy, but avoiding serious overall health complications as well, including dangerous infections, nerve damage, circulation issues, and even amputation.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone! Complete Foot & Ankle Care specializes in helping those with diabetes manage the disease and live a full and active life.
Dodging Diabetic Dangers
The combination of poor blood flow and neuropathy, both associated with diabetes, can lead to major problems (to say the least). Neuropathy is characterized by a lack of sensation in your feet, which means an injury can occur without notice. If blood is having trouble flowing to the injured area, it takes longer for healing nutrients to arrive. Even the smallest wound, then, can quickly turn into an ulcer open to infection.
The best line of defense? Knowing the signs of trouble so you can spot it quickly and get treatment fast.
- Neuropathy – symptoms include tingling, a burning sensation, numbness, and pain. Care should be taken to protect feet from injury.
- P.A.D. – otherwise known as the peripheral arterial disease, this contributes to poor circulation and symptoms you may experience include cramping, muscle weakness, numbness, coldness, hair loss, slow-growing toenails, and shiny or discolored skin. The good news is that we have in-office testing for P.A.D. which allows the condition to be promptly addressed.
Treating Diabetic Troubles
Staying on top of possible problems is key. We recommend making regular appointments with us so we can examine your feet and care for them effectively and efficiently, thus nipping complications in the bud. Treatments in-office include:
- Wound Care – Dr. Brad Hayman specializes in wound care, so if you do encounter an ulceration, you can rest assured that you will receive the expert care you need. Typically, wound care entails cleaning the area, prescribing medication, protecting the wound with bandages, and in some cases, providing a cast, which will also help with off-loading, or taking weight and pressure off of the foot to allow it time to heal.
- MicroVas Therapy – this non-invasive neuropathy treatment uses deeply penetrating waves of electricity to stimulate circulation and accelerate the healing process in damaged tissues.
- Shoes and Inserts – We can provide custom orthotics for your unique foot structure and needs as well as diabetic shoes made specifically to address problems and protect feet from further issues in the future.
Doing Your Part at Home
- Foot Self-Exams – make a foot check part of your daily routine. Look over your feet closely for any blisters, scratches, rashes, calluses, changes in color or temperature, nail problems, or dry, cracked skin. You can ask a loved one’s help or use a mirror for hard-to-see places. Call us immediately if you see anything out of the ordinary. To avoid dangerous infections, do not attempt to treat any of these on your own!
- Nail care – it is important to avoid ingrown nails that can become infected. To properly trim your nails, cut straight across without rounding the corners. Don’t go too short—keep nails even with the tips of your toes. If you are hesitant, we are happy to trim your nails for you when you visit.
- Protection – always wear shoes and socks to avoid injury as well as fungal infections. Make sure that your footwear is made of materials that breathe so that unwanted moisture is not trapped inside. Always check your shoes before putting them on to ensure there is nothing in them that can cause irritation. Make sure shoes fit, too, to prevent blisters or other issues from occurring.
If you have questions, want more information, or would like help putting a diabetic foot care plan in place, connect with us by using our online contact form—or simply give us a call. You can reach or dial (928) 776-9428 for our Prescott location. We will help you manage your diabetes and keep your feet healthy and problem-free.