With diabetes, even a small foot injury can mean major problems unless treated immediately.
If you have diabetes, simple issues like trimming your toenails, getting a blister from ill-fitting shoes, or nicking your ankle while shaving can cause a chain reaction of health problems. An estimated 25% of diabetics will deal with foot wounds and their complications; they are typically slow to heal and subject to infection, which can lead to expensive, long-term treatments to get it under control. Family Foot and Ankle Centers serving McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Reston is here to educate their diabetic patients about recognizing foot wound symptoms and how to prevent them from happening.
How do foot wounds develop?
Certain diseases and conditions make foot wounds very difficult to treat. For example, the minor injuries listed above don't usually cause any problems for people who have normal blood circulation. Diabetics, however, often have neuropathy (nerve damage) or restricted blood flow. Complications from food wounds often happen as a result of these conditions. When poor circulation is combined with increased blood glucose levels, feeling is reduced (or totally absent) in the extremities and healing is much slower. The wound, therefore, is at a much higher risk for ulceration and infection. In extreme cases, amputation may be the only way to stop the infection from spreading further.
What are the symptoms of diabetic foot wounds?
Pain is a not a typical sign for those with reduced feeling in the feet and ankles; the pain receptors are weakened and not a good indicator for diabetic foot wounds. Many patients first contact their McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Reston podiatrist after noticing stains on their socks from wound drainage. The area around the wound may be swollen and red. A foul odor may be present if the wound has been left to progress. Any time a diabetic person injures their foot, even if it seems insignificant, should immediately contact their podiatrist.
How do I prevent foot wounds?
Diabetic patients who are at risk for foot wound complications should take precautions to avoid any injuries to their feet and ankles. They should not walk around barefoot, both indoors and out. Wearing properly fitted and comfortable shoes is also important to prevent blisters. Your podiatrists also encourage their diabetic patients to practice excellent hygiene and inspect the feet and ankles daily for any cuts, bruises, redness or any other abnormalities.
If you do notice a foot wound developing, it's important to contact the podiatry team at Family Foot and Ankle Centers right away. Early treatment of foot wounds is the key to proper healing. Call your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Centers in McLean at (703) 556-8637, Ashburn at (703) 723-9267, Fairfax at (703) 273-9818 and Reston at (703)723-2719. Or visit our website at familyfootandankle.com. Get some relief today and get back on your feet!