Don’t Slack on Your Diabetic Foot Care
Managing diabetes comes with its set of responsibilities, and one crucial aspect that should never be overlooked is diabetic foot care. Every thirty seconds, somewhere in the world, a leg is amputated. The vast majority of those amputations occur from diabetic ulcers. What’s more, 230 Americans lose their leg to diabetes each day.
The statistics are frustrating, as almost every one of those amputations was likely to have been preventable at one point. Proper foot care for patients with diabetes is one of the most critical factors in preventing limb loss to this affliction.
Neglecting foot health can lead to severe consequences, making it imperative to start a diligent foot care routine now to prevent potential complications down the line. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the significance of diabetic foot care, the dangers of diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, essential steps in your diabetic foot care plan, key diabetic foot care interventions, and the crucial first step of a proper assessment.
If you don’t have a diabetic foot care plan, you need to start now.
Diabetic Foot Care: Start Now Before It’s Too Late
Being diagnosed with a chronic, lifelong disease is difficult. It can be tempting, at first, to continue with your life and try to forget about it. But this is an attitude that can lead to further problems that will impact your health and mobility.
Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are ever-present threats for individuals grappling with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy, which involves nerve damage, can result in diminished sensation in the feet, making it challenging to detect injuries or wounds. On the other hand, peripheral vascular disease obstructs proper blood circulation to the extremities, causing delayed healing and potential complications like foot ulcers.
With enough time, a diabetic ulcer and even gangrene can lead to potentially having your foot or leg amputated if you do not address it.
However, there’s good news. If you start building healthy habits now, you can reduce your chance of suffering complications in the future. Even if you’re already experiencing symptoms, a comprehensive diabetic foot care plan can lessen your symptoms in the short and long term.
First Steps in Your Diabetic Foot Care Plan
The first step in your journey toward diabetic foot care is to come to see Dr. DePalma. At Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates, we can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine what stage you’re at and whether you’re experiencing any symptoms. We’ll also instruct you on putting together an effective foot care plan to reduce your risk of developing complications and keep your feet as healthy as possible.
That foot care plan will include:
- Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Sustaining stable blood sugar levels lay the groundwork for effective diabetic foot care. Elevated blood sugar levels can intensify nerve damage and hinder blood circulation, heightening the risk of foot-related problems.
- Daily Foot Check Routine: Implement a daily foot inspection routine to identify any signs of redness, swelling, cuts, or sores. If you find it difficult to examine your feet thoroughly, enlist the help of a mirror or a family member.
- Keep Your Feet Clean Daily: Washing your feet with gentle soap and lukewarm water is essential. Ensure your feet are completely dry, especially between the toes, to ward off moisture-related issues.
- Moisturize Your Feet After Daily Cleaning: A mild moisturizer can help prevent dry skin, but remember to avoid applying it between your toes to prevent excessive moisture buildup.
- Toenail Trimming Routine: Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too close to prevent potential injuries. If managing your toenails becomes challenging, consult our experienced team for help.
- Keep Your Feet Properly Covered: Choose well-fitting shoes made from breathable materials to safeguard your feet. Avoid shoes that cause friction or exert excessive pressure on certain areas.
- Implement Clean, Loose Socks for Bedtime: Wearing clean, loose-fitting socks to bed can reduce friction and improve blood circulation while you sleep.
Diabetic Foot Care Interventions
At Burlington Country Foot & Ankle Associates, we’ve developed a range of services and interventions that can be applied when you need more involved foot care. Several preventative measures can be taken beyond the simple foot care regime outlined above, which include:
- Diabetic Socks: Designed to minimize pressure points, wick away moisture, and enhance blood circulation, diabetic socks provide optimal comfort and protection.
- Diabetic Shoes: Diabetic footwear offers ample cushioning, support, and extra space to accommodate potential deformities and minimize friction.
- Custom Orthotics: Tailored orthotic inserts can alleviate foot discomfort, redistribute pressure, and improve foot alignment, promoting overall foot health.
- Laser Therapy: Low-level laser therapy can enhance blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair, contributing to the overall well-being of diabetic feet.
The First Step is the Proper Assessment
Initiating a proper assessment is the cornerstone of effective diabetic foot care. Regular appointments with our office and Dr. DePalma ensure a comprehensive evaluation of your foot health, identification of any existing concerns, and the creation of a personalized strategy to manage your diabetes-related foot issues.
Embarking on a journey of responsible diabetic foot care isn’t merely a choice—it’s a necessity for maintaining a high quality of life while managing diabetes. By prioritizing a proactive approach and adhering to a well-rounded diabetic foot care regimen, you can significantly minimize the risk of complications and enjoy the benefits of healthier feet.
When you’re prepared to embark on this journey, connect with Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates now at (609) 714-0052. Alternatively, you can use our convenient contact form, where we’ll be sure to reach out to you directly as per your preference.