Diabetes can decrease blood flow to your lower extremities, leaving them prone to infection, nerve damage, and diabetic foot. Because of nerve damage, some people with diabetes experience a decrease in their ability to feel pain in certain parts of the body due to nerve damage that leads to numbness. This makes them less likely to be aware when they have gotten cuts or other injuries, which could make them worse.
Fortunately, a foot doctor can help treat diabetic foot. Read on to find out more.
Recommend Foot Care Tips
A foot doctor can help you treat diabetic foot by recommending ways to take better care of your feet in general. Since diabetic foot comes with nerve damage, you have to be vigilant.
Depending on the damage, you may have little to almost total loss of sensation perception. Here are a few tips that a foot doctor may recommend as you care for your diabetic foot:
- Check your feet and toenails daily for any changes. Pay close attention to wounds, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, cuts, corns, or calluses. Make sure to see a doctor immediately if any issue worsens or does not show signs of healing within a few days.
- Wash your feet regularly in warm water, but don’t soak them.
- Always dry your feet after washing. Don’t forget to wipe the areas between your toes.
- Apply lotion to the top and bottom of your feet. However, don’t leave lotion between your toes, as that could lead to infection.
- Trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails. Alternatively, use nail clippers designed specifically for toenails.
- Don’t remove your corns and calluses yourself.
- Don’t walk barefoot. Instead, wear socks or slippers at home.
- Don’t smoke, as smoking can decrease blood circulation.
It’s also beneficial for you to facilitate blood flow to your feet. You can do that by putting your feet up when you’re sitting. Wiggling your toes several times a day can also help keep your blood flowing.
In addition, choose activities that don’t put your feet at risk of getting wounded or injured. You may want to consider going for low-impact exercises rather than high-intensity alternatives.
When it comes to your nails, it’s essential to keep them trimmed to avoid ingrown toenails and wounds. However, you may want to consider getting the help of an expert if you can’t reach your nails on your own. You should also seek assistance if you have blurred vision or shaky hands to avoid accidents.
Facilitate Wound Care and Treatment
Proper wound care is necessary if you have sustained foot ulcers. Your foot doctor can clean your wound to ensure an infection doesn’t develop. If there is an infection, your doctor can also prescribe oral or intravenous fluid antibiotics to control and eliminate the infection.
In addition, your foot doctor can apply a dressing or a special kind of bandage to your wound to keep it clean and dry. They may also use some ointment to protect the wound and promote healing.
Another aspect of caring for diabetic foot involves taking weight off your affected foot. One of the best ways to do this is using crutches or a wheelchair to remove pressure from your feet. In some cases, your doctor may recommend using a splint, cast, or brace.
Suggest Proper Footwear
Your doctor will recommend that you use proper footwear. That involves wearing socks that aren’t too tight and keeping your feet dry when wearing them. Socks can help you avoid getting blisters.
You should also use well-fitting shoes that provide adequate support for your feet. If you have flat feet or high feet arch, you may want to consider getting customized insoles. You may also use a pair of therapeutic shoes made specifically for people with diabetes. These can give you the support and protection needed for your condition.
Propose Medical Procedures
Depending on your condition, your foot doctor may suggest surgical or non-surgical procedures. That includes draining fluid and pus from ulcers if you have them. Another procedure they may recommend is debridement, the process of cutting or removing dead and infected tissue from your foot.
Your foot doctor will exhaust conservative treatments first before suggesting surgical procedures. Surgery is typically reserved only for foot deformities that can’t be treated with a cast or brace.
In extreme cases, your doctor may recommend amputation for the affected toe or part of the foot. They may suggest the procedure to protect the remaining limb and prevent further health complications.
Foot Doctor in Naples, FL
Patients with a diabetic foot need to stay on top of their condition to prevent it from worsening. Diabetes symptoms can make that a challenge. Fortunately, healthcare providers can help through home care plans, medical treatments, and surgery.
If you’re looking for a foot doctor in Naples, Florida, look no further than the Joint Replacement Institute. Our team of board-certified and fellowship-trained providers can give you a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan suited for your condition.
If you want to learn more about our podiatry services, you may call us at (239) 261-2663. If you need a consultation, you can schedule one by using our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you take care of your feet!