If you are a patient suffering from diabetes, you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to foot care. There are several conditions associated with this disease—neuropathy, impaired immune system, and decreased sweat and natural oil production in the skin—that can all contribute to putting a diabetic patient at higher risk for developing medical problems that affect the feet. Dr. Monique Renee Rolle, a board qualified podiatrist treats many Loudoun County patients with diabetes at Lansdowne Podiatry. She believes that examining your feet daily is one of the best ways to ensure good foot health. Be sure to check for the following:
- Sores or ulcers. These are one of the biggest causes of serious diabetic foot problems and can even lead to amputation if not treated early and aggressively. Even minor blisters can quickly become infected and, with the decreased blood flow and immunity issues associated with diabetes, turn into a major medical danger.
- Calluses and corns. These can be precursors to sores and ulcers. Usually caused by shoes that are not fitted properly and are putting pressure on your feet, you may spot these before they cause you any discomfort due to decreased feeling in your feet.
- Dry or cracked skin. Bacteria can enter the skin through the tiniest of cracks. With a decrease in natural skin emollients, daily moisturizing is essential for patients with diabetes to prevent dry skin, which can become cracked and prone to sores.
- Toenail disorders. Fungal nail infections and ingrown toenails are both sources of infection that can spread to other parts of the foot. Avoid walking barefoot and keep nails cut straight across and not too short to help prevent these conditions.
- Bunions and hammertoes. These deformities often expose skin to rubbing and pressure in shoes that can lead to sores. Visibly check for signs of rawness or redness on the skin.
- Charcot Foot. This serious and disabling condition occurs when the joints and bones in the foot are damaged repeatedly because there is a lack of sensation in the foot letting the patient know there is a problem. Non-sensory signs of this disorder are swelling, redness, and the skin of the foot being overly warm to the touch.
Most diabetic foot problems have a better outcome if they are detected and treated early. If you notice any changes in your feet or have questions on diabetic foot care, please make an appointment in our Leesburg office at your earliest convenience by clicking here or calling 571-223-0424.