How To Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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A foot ulcer can quickly evolve into a very bad situation for a patient with diabetes. Since the nerve damage caused by diabetes causes a lack of sensation in the extremities, the feet become extremely susceptible to sores and cuts that can quickly deteriorate into gangrenous ulcers possibly requiring amputation of a toe, foot or even an entire lower leg.

Preventing foot ulcers in the first place is obviously the best way to avoid the complications and possible amputation risks, so always take good care of your feet.

Two proven ways to detect and prevent diabetic foot ulcers include the following:

●     Wear properly-fitted shoes—Improperly-fitting shoes are one of the most common contributors to diabetic foot problems. You also don’t want your shoes to be too loose or too tight in order to prevent rubbing and blisters or other damage to the epidermis. Make sure that your toes have enough room to move around, and that your ankles and arches are adequately supported. Specially designed shoes for those with diabetes have extra room for orthotic shoe inserts and ankle braces. Compression socks can also help with blood circulation.

●     Perform daily foot inspections—Because peripheral nerve damage makes it difficult or impossible to feel when you have an injury to your foot, you have to do a thorough visual foot inspection every day and look for any blisters, cuts, or other wounds. If you have any large calluses on your heels, check for cracks in the skin which can allow bacteria to enter, possibly causing an infection. Don’t neglect checking the bottom of your feet, using a mirror if necessary, and be sure to carefully inspect between your toes. While you are inspecting your feet, remember to look carefully at your toenails for signs of a fungal nail infection which can include yellowing, thickening, and brittleness.

For more expert advice on foot ulcer prevention and treatment, consult with your foot care specialist. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage your foot and ankle condition. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.