Did you know that November was National Diabetes Month?
If you have diabetes, you should already know that remembering to care for your feet can’t be something that only happens one month of the year. It must be a daily concern, because uncontrolled diabetes is extremely dangerous for your feet.
We’ll keep this brief, but it’s important to understand the stakes before discussing what you need to do to care for yourself.
Anybody can get a cut or blister on their foot. But for someone with diabetes—especially poorly controlled diabetes—that small injury can grow into an infected ulcer that could, ultimately, cause them to lose their toe, foot, even their leg to a necessary amputation.
Many people with diabetes develop nerve damage in their feet, which impairs their sensation and prevents them from realizing when their shoes are too tight, or when they’ve suffered a cut or injury.
Only about half of people who undergo a lower limb amputation related to diabetes are still alive five years later. And there are about 70,000 of these amputation in the United States each and every year.
If you develop a sore on your foot that doesn’t improve within a couple of days, give us a call right away and we’ll schedule you as soon as possible—that same day if we can.
Foot wounds need to be treated by a professional immediately in order to prevent or reverse any infection and bring about healing as quickly as possible.
Most foot wounds can be treated right from our office in DeSoto. However, more severe wounds may need to be referred to the local wound care center.
During the wound care process, we’ll clean the wound and remove any dead skin or tissue that may be impairing the healing process. (This is called debridement.) We’ll apply whatever medications, dressings, and bandages that are necessary as well.
As you heal at home, it will be important to avoid putting any weight or pressure on your wound. We’ll make sure you get any tools you need to do this, such as a brace, walking boot, or crutches. We’ll also show you how to monitor, clean, and re-bandage your wound according to an appropriate schedule.
Anyone with diabetes should be meeting with a foot doctor at least once per year. Those with a history of foot problems or wounds should visit more often than that.
At our office, we can provide a variety of services, tests, and tools to help you protect your feet and avoid developing a foot wound in the first place.
One of the main ways we can help is by providing diabetic shoes and orthotics.
Another way we help is by providing routine screenings and maintenance care for any ongoing foot problems you may have. If you have corns, calluses, deformities, dry skin, or other nagging foot issues, they can increase your risk for developing more serious complications.
Of course, a yearly checkup is only going to help if you’re taking appropriate care of your feet at home all the other days that you don’t see us!
You can do a lot to show your feet you care and reduce your risk of ulcers. For example:
The great news is that diabetic wounds and other serious diabetic foot complications are almost always preventable—and even if you do develop one, you can usually save your feet if you seek help promptly.
Is it time for your checkup? Or maybe you’ve noticed a wound beginning to form on your foot? Don’t wait—call Trinity Foot Center in DeSoto today at (972) 293-9650.