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Posts for tag: Diabetes

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
July 16, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot care   Diabetes   Diabetics  

Summertime brings flip-flops, pool time and more. While these are the signs of enjoyable warm weather, they can also be concerning if you have diabetes. Higher temperatures and opportunities to walk barefoot increase the chances you can injure your feet or experience cracking, swelling and discomfort.

Because you are living with diabetes, you likely know the condition puts you at greater risk for nerve damage to your feet. This affects your foot sensations, meaning you may experience a scrape or cut without realizing you had it. Because diabetes affects your body’s wound healing time, having a cut that’s unknown to you can easily turn into a more serious wound if left untreated.

To ensure your feet have an event-free summer, here are some warm weather-specific tips from our podiatrist:

Always wear shoes. If you’re planning a beach vacation, it can be tempting to leave the flip-flops behind in favor of sand beneath your toes. This can be a troublesome habit, however, because it increases your risk for cuts from seashells, beach glass or other unknown beach items. Close-toed beach shoes that have breathable mesh and a protective sole are available that protect your feet from injury while also allowing you to walk comfortably.

Give Your Feet a Once-Over Twice Daily. When you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet at least as often as you should brush your teeth: at least twice per day. Pay special attention to the areas between your toes and underneath your feet. You may even want to get a mirror to place on the ground and put your foot a few inches away to identify hard-to-see areas. In addition to checking out your feet, you’ll also want to check out your shoes. Debris, such as dirt and rocks, can easily accumulate in your shoes and cause injuries. Give them a good shake before wearing to protect yourself.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. You can just as easily burn your foot skin as you can anywhere else, yet many people forget to apply sunscreen to this important area. When you are applying sunscreen to your arms, legs and face, don’t forget to apply it on the tops and bottoms of your feet before putting on your outdoor shoes.

Don’t feel the burn. Remember the beach isn't the only place you can burn or injure your feet. Campfires, cookouts and even ultra-hot pavement are all areas where you can unexpectedly injure your feet in the summer. The same rules apply when it comes to wearing shoes and taking every precaution to protect your feet.

Finally, remember that it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly to inspect your feet and ensure you have not experienced an injury that could easily affect your overall health. Visiting our podiatrist to have your toenails cut can help to prevent ingrown toenails and injury. If you notice other foot conditions, such as blisters or scrapes, seeing us as quickly as possible can help to prevent your injuries from worsening.

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
June 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Diabetes  
 
It is important to raise awareness for diabetes, but what does that mean for your feet? If you have diabetes, you may understand the importance of proper care and maintenance of your blood sugar levels. However, did you know that the health of your feet directly relate to your diabetes as well? 
 
Your podiatrist understands the importance of diabetic foot care, which is why he or she continues to raise awareness for the importance of proper diabetic foot care not just for one day, but also for the whole year.  Your podiatrist is available to provide you with some helpful tips for caring for your feet if you suffer from diabetes. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips.
 

The 5 Helpful Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

Your podiatrist stresses the importance of understanding how to care for your feet whether you have diabetes or not. Here are the top 5 tips your podiatrist wants to emphasize for diabetic foot care:
 
  1. Inspect Your Feet Daily – When it comes to your feet, daily inspection is vital in the maintenance of your health.  Even the smallest prick can cause immense pain and infection. 
  2. Wash Your Feet in Lukewarm Water – Do not wash your feet in ice cold water or scalding hot water as these can cause harm to your feet. When washing, remember to use lukewarm water so that you do not irritate your feet.  
  3. Cut Your Nails Carefully – Just as you need to cut your nails properly to avoid ingrown toenails, it is essential to do the same now. By properly cutting your nails you can prevent ingrown toenails, while also preventing cuts or other complications. 
  4. Never Treat Corns or Calluses Yourself – We all know how tempting it can be to perform home surgery on your corns or calluses, but please refrain from doing so. By attempting to treat your corns or calluses, you are putting the health of your feet at risk for infection and other complications.
  5. Take Care of Your Diabetes – This tip may seem like an obvious one, but we cannot reiterate this enough—take care of your diabetes. If you properly care for your diabetes, you are paving the way for health and success.
 
By following these guidelines laid out by your podiatrist, we hope that you will continue to take care of your feet.  If you have diabetes, constant monitoring of your feet is very important.  Remember to look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, and ulcers.
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet   Diabetes   Foot Hygiene  
Diabetes causes a condition of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but most often the legs and feet are the body’s most prone areas to serious health problems.  Damage to the nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily or readily as someone who does not have diabetes. Understanding the connection between foot care and diabetes is important to avoid more serious health problems. Visit your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Center, about the best ways to care for your feet. 
 

Inspect Your Feet Regularly

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to examine your feet every day and after every injury, regardless of how minor you may think the injury is.  If you notice redness, swelling, persistent pain, numbness, tingling or any other unusual signs on any part of your foot, call your Fairfax podiatrist immediately as this could signify serious health problems. 
 
It’s also recommended that people with diabetes see a podiatrist for annual checkups.  A professional podiatrist in Fairfax can detect signs of changes, broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. He can also check your blood circulation, identify loss of sensation or detect areas of high pressure- all of which require professional medical attention. 
 

Small Foot Problems Can Lead to Bigger Problems

If you have diabetes, even the smallest foot problems such as a cut, can turn into more serious complications.  Some of these small complications include:
  • Ulcers that don’t heal
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Cracked heels
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Ingrown toenails
With these complications, you run the risk of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops slowly and worsens over time, and Charcot foot, which is a condition in which the bones of the foot are weakened enough to fracture.  Taking extra precautions and caring for even the smallest problem can save your foot. 
 

Keep Your Feet Healthy with Proper Foot Hygiene

Everyone needs to practice good foot hygiene daily, but people with diabetes should pay extra attention to keeping their feet clean in order to prevent health problems.  If you have diabetes your podiatrist in Fairfax urges you to:
  • Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap, making sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. 
  • Keep the skin on your feet smooth and soft by applying a non-irritating moisturizer, avoiding the areas between the toes. Doing so can help prevent cracks and sores that lead to infection. 
  • Avoid ingrown toenails than can get infected by keeping them neatly trimmed straight across.
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them every day.
  • Avoid walking barefoot to protect feet from harmful foreign particles. 
  • Never attempt to remove corns, calluses or other sores from your feet on your own. See your Fairfax podiatrist for safe and pain free removal. 
Early detection, simple care and regular inspections can go a long way to avoid serious foot complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your podiatrist in Fairfax about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
July 01, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Diabetic Neuropathy: Pay Attention to Your Feet

Diabetes causes a condition of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but your legs and feet are parts of your body that are more prone to serious health problems.  Damage to the nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily or readily as someone who does not have diabetes. 
 
This is why diabetics get infections so frequently from something as simple as a small cut or blister on the foot. When a person is unable to detect a foot wound it can easily become infected, leading to more serious complications and even amputation in the most severe cases. With that being said, understanding the connection between foot care and diabetes is important to avoid more serious health problems. If you are diabetic it is important talk to your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Centers about the best ways to care for your feet. 
 

What is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

Typically, in diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet you will begin to notice sensory changes such as numbness or tingling in your toes.  Initially, these symptoms may come and go, but, in time, will be constant.  When experiencing these symptoms, they may interfere with your sleep, or cause you to awaken from your sleep.  Over a period of time, these disturbances may cause a loss of feeling that may even hinder your ability to detect the tightness of your shoes.  Even a pebble in your shoe can go unnoticed as time goes on, which can injure your foot.  
 
Neuropathy is the leading cause of ulcers or holes that occur in the feet, as well as infections.  Additionally, neuropathy is the leading cause of the loss of toes and even amputation, with advanced cases.  If nerve compression goes untreated, the nerve itself can become deprived of oxygen and nutrients, which cause the nerve to die over time resulting in numb feet.  In many patients, surgery can be performed to relieve these various sites of nerve compression in order to relieve the burning, tingling and pain, or even to restore sensation to your feet in some cases. 
 

Prevent Complications of Diabetes

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to examine your feet every day and after every injury, regardless of how minor you may think the injury is.  If you notice redness, swelling, persistent pain, numbness, tingling or any other unusual signs on any part of your foot, call your podiatrist in Fairfax immediately as this could signify serious health problems. 
 
We also recommend that if you have diabetes you should visit us at Family Foot and Ankle Centers, your Fairfax podiatrist, for annual checkups.  We work with you to detect signs of changes, broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. At our practice we can also check your blood circulation, identify loss of sensation or detect areas of high pressure- all of which require professional medical attention. 
 
Early detection, simple care and regular inspections can go a long way to avoid serious foot complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your podiatrist in Fairfax about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy. 


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