When an ulcer becomes infected and goes untreated, it could result in a damaging condition that could require severe operations to prevent from spreading.
The most common causes of foot ulcers are diabetes, ischemia, and venous stasis. Let’s explore each one a little bit more:
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people every year. It causes damage to blood vessels including the feet. Diabetes can cause nerve damage or neuropathy because of impaired blood flow to the legs and feet. Once neuropathy develops, it is important to take care of the feet. Amputation of the limbs may happen rarely, but this is why people suffering from diabetes should take foot care seriously.
Ways to take care of the foot
- If you are a diabetic, always wash and dry your feet thoroughly.
- Carefully examine your feet and toes for sores and redness even if there is no pain felt. Also examine your feet from the bottom.
- Wear well-fitting socks and avoid wearing socks that are colored to prevent infections from the dye.
- For dry feet, you can apply recommended cream.
When removing any calluses, be careful with the tools that you use and scrub off gently as people with severe diabetic may not feel any pain on their feet. Should a complication occur, never hesitate to consult a podiatrist. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from diabetic foot disorders.
Checking with the doctor
- You should keep in contact with your diabetic doctor to monitor your blood levels regularly, most specifically your blood sugar.
- A physician will also provide medications to help treat neuropathy as well as advise you with proper eating habits and foot care.
- If you have any existing feet conditions, it is also best if you consult a podiatrist and let him check it.
- Toenails should also be trimmed by a podiatrist to ensure that it is trimmed correctly. Improper trimming may result to deeply cutting around the cuticles which will result to infection.
Untreated diabetic foot
- Diabetic feet should be checked daily. If you find any problem, consult a podiatrist immediately. Do not wait for the condition to become severe before visiting a health care professional as this might develop into serious problems such as:
- Gangrene. It is a serious infection that often results to sepsis or foot/limb amputation.
- Ulcers. You also need to look out for ulcers as they can develop from the loss of tissue on your skin. They are painful and needs intensive treatment.
At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with diabetes. Schedule a diabetic foot exam today. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.
One of the top ten diseases in United States is diabetes. Over 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes, with a few more famous diabetics being novelist Anne Rice, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor and pop culture icon, Nick Jonas.
Diabetic foot care is of critical importance, since diabetes can cause lack of blood flow in the legs and feet, resulting in numbness and loss of feeling. Due to the numbness, cuts and sores go unnoticed, which leads to infection. This means that diabetics need to spend a little extra time paying attention to their feet so they can remain healthy. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from diabetes.
How do I take care of my feet if I am a diabetic?
Wash and dry your feet on a daily basis
Wash your feet gently in warm water using soap and mild water, but don’t soak them, since that will dry the skin on your feet. Use lotion on the bottom of your feet to prevent cracking and for preventing infectionsbetween your toes, using talcum powder generally works well .
Keep your feet covered at all times
People with diabetes need to make sure not to go barefoot- it is important to always wear shoes and socks, since diabetics cannot necessarily feel if they step on something sharp. Make sure your shoes are empty before putting them on- look in them to ensure that no foreign objects are in there that could possibly cut you.
Trim your toenails regularly
If you can comfortably see and reach your feet, keep your toenails trimmed. However, if your toenails are thick or yellowed, if you cannot reach your feet, or if you cannot feel your feet, have your podiatrist cut your toenails for you.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet
Don’t wear socks or shoes that cut off your circulation to your feet and legs or are too tight. Do not cross your legs for extended periods of time, and keep your feet elevated when sitting down.
Check your feet every day
Make sure you examine your feet every day for infected toenails, swelling, cuts or sores. If you have difficulty seeing your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member/caregiver to help you out.
At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with diabetes take care of their feet. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114
Avoiding the causes of cracked feet can save you the trouble of treating cracked feet in the future. If you have problems treating stubborn cracked feet then consulting a foot specialist is your best option. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from with skin conditions.
Cracked Heels - Causes
Cracked heels may not be classified as a medical emergency or even close to it. But if you’re planning to head to the beach this summer then you’d better make sure that you’re picture perfect, from head to toe. Unless you’re contemplating on wearing running shoes to the beach then having smooth, healthy heels is a must. So before you head out and buy those lovely pair of flip flops for your next summer outing, here are some tips on how to get rid of cracked heels quickly and naturally.
- Wet feet – we know how keeping our feet moisturized is important in keeping our skin healthy but standing or soaking our feet in water can lead to cracked feet. Our skin losses its natural oils when soaked in water for long periods of time. More than a few minutes in the swimming pool or bath tub can get your feet all wrinkled up.
- Dry Skin – if you have natural dry skin then a little moisturizer could work miracles in preventing cracked heels. Dry skin plus the constant friction caused by walking or running is the perfect formula for dry skin.
- Standing for long periods – cracked feet are not only caused by skin exposed to constant friction. The pressure of your weight bearing down on your feet could also lead to excessive skin growth in your feet effort to cushion this weight.
- Cold weather and low humidity – skin exposed to cold temperatures or low moist environments can lead to dry skin. It robs us of our natural oils which keeps our skin moisturized.
- Aging – aging causes many changes in our body and the loss of our ability to produce natural oils can lead to cracked feet. This is evident in our skin. The development of wrinkles for example is a sign that we are losing some of our natural oil producing capability.
- Weight Problems – the feet and the heels in particular are unwilling recipients of our love for food. Running, walking or even standing can cause our heels to grow more skin than needed.
- Illness and Medical Conditions – dry skin can be symptoms of an underlying medical condition. Thyroid disease, diabetes and skin diseases can lead to dry skin and cracked feet .
Being a diabetic can bring many limitations and requires extra attention to your foot’s health. But with proper foot care and the right attitude keeping complications can be easy.
A major concern for any diabetic is keeping their feet healthy. This can lead to serious complications which requires amputation. However, this can easily be prevented with the help of your doctor and a podiatrist. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping diabetics with foot conditions.
- Orthopedic shoes can be a big help in keeping your feet healthy. A podiatrist may recommend this footwear to help you prevent serious foot conditions.
- Custom-made shoes: If you have severe deformities, custom-made shoes may be prescribed to help you deal with those deformities. Custom-made shoes can also help if your foot is casted since it can be made to give way and provide area for the cast.
- Shoes for healing: As the term suggests, healing shoes are used for healing which are usually used after a surgery or diabetic ulcer treatment. This is not permanent, you can resume wearing regular shoes once you have recovered from the surgery and treatment.
- External modification of the shoes: Modifications may be necessary to help accommodate your condition. This may include adding stabilizing and shock-absorbing materials or to completely alter the foot sole of your shoes.
Orthoses and shoe inserts. This helps relieve pressure on your feet as well as help in shock absorption. Most diabetic patients are prescribed to use orthoses and shoe inserts because not only are they medically useful, they also provide you with more comfort than regular shoes.
These orthotic shoes are prescribed to meet several goals that will definitely help you in the process of your condition. The aims of these orthotic shoes are:
- To restrict some joint motions that will help decrease inflammation and relieves pain
- To lessen shock and pressure on your foot.
- To provide relief for pressured areas that are the cause of diabetic ulcers.
- To control deformities associated with your diabetic condition such as Charcot arthropathy.
- To provide comfort to you amidst the condition that you are having.