Small problems are easy to ignore. A broken toenail or a small cut on the foot causes few problems in healthy adults, and will usually heal without complications. However, these same injuries can pose severe threats to patients living with diabetes, causing systemic infections that could result in the loss of the entire foot.
What Diabetes Patients Need to Know About Foot Wounds and Ulcers
Foot ulcers are areas on the heels, toes, and pads of the feet where the skin has broken and is refusing to heal. Since diabetes often impairs circulation, the blood cells needed to repair the wound are unable to reach the foot, leaving the sore open to infection. Without intervention, a patient may develop gangrene and tissue death that could result in amputation.
We can help provide the treatment you need at all stages of diabetic foot trouble, including:
- Wound care. If you have developed an ulcer on your foot, we can perform immediate and potentially life-saving interventions. We can inspect and clean the wound, bandage it carefully, and prescribe antibiotics. Depending on how deep the wound has gotten, the bandages may need to be changed multiple times and require constant monitoring to stop the spread of infection.
- Early warning signs. Many patients with diabetes are suffering from neuropathy, and cannot feel a cut or cracked skin on their feet. We perform regular foot inspections to make sure there are no areas where a problem could develop, check footwear to prevent ulcers from blisters or chafing, and trim toenails in a way that will discourage ingrowing or pressing painfully against the cuticles.
- Before the trouble starts. Preventing foot ulcers is far better than treating them in the later stages of the disease. Our podiatry team offers information on preventing foot ulcers from the inside out, such as controlling fluctuating blood sugar levels, foot cleansing and moisturizing tips, and custom orthotics to help cushion your feet.
If you are struggling to control the effects of diabetes, the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry can help you find the solution. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your free initial consultation.