We depend on our feet to get from place to place, to navigate our world, so taking good care of them is already very important. It becomes much more important if you suffer from diabetes as you have to be extra diligent to make sure they, along with the rest of you, are healthy. To learn more about how your podiatrist can help you care for your feet contact Dr. Jeffrey Belancio of South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ.
Guarding Against Infection
Infection is your number one enemy where it comes to foot care if you suffer from diabetes. On one front there is nerve damage, which is very common among diabetic patients, affecting about half of them. This nerve damage on the legs and feet can dull your sense and make you unaware that something is wrong, and so infection can progress unnoticed without help from your podiatrist.
Poor circulation, also common by those afflicted with the chronic condition, can lengthen the healing time for infections, which is what makes them so dangerous. More so if they go unnoticed. If allowed to progress, an infection can threaten your life. That is why once it has advanced too far into the limb that many doctors suggest amputation as a drastic, but necessary life-saving measure. The guard against infection is regular examinations of your feet, both by yourself and your podiatrist.
Diabetic Foot Care in Vineland, NJ
Your podiatrist not only checks your feet for signs of infection but can help prevent problems that could turn into one. Such as with ingrown toenails, by helping you trim them properly.
They can also treat corns and calluses, and other foot-related conditions to prevent complications. So if you're diabetic you should not try to care for these on your own, instead, turn to your podiatrist to treat them in a professional and safe environment. Make an appointment with Dr. Belancio of South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ, by dialing (856) 839-0579.
- Seek immediate medical attention (head to your local ER)
- You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last shot
- Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist within 24 hours of the injury
- Your podiatrist will provide you with a variety of care instructions to keep it clean and disinfected (make sure to follow all of these instructions)
- New or worsening pain
- Skin that’s warm to the touch
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
- Pain that occurs immediately after an injury or accident
- Pain that is directly above a bone
- Pain that is worse with movement
- Bruising and severe swelling
- A cracking sound at the moment of injury
- A visible deformity or bump
- Can’t put weight on the injured foot
The symptoms of a sprain are far less severe. You can often put weight on the injured foot with a sprain; however, you may notice some slight pain and stiffness. You may also have heard a popping sound at the moment of the injury with a sprain, while a broken bone often produces a cracking sound. The pain associated with a sprain will also be above soft tissue rather than bone. A podiatrist will perform an X-ray to be able to determine if you are dealing with a break or a sprain.
Rest is key to allowing an injury, particularly a fracture, to heal properly. Along with rest, your doctor may also recommend either an over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain reliever, depending on the severity of your fracture. Those with more moderate to severe fractures may require a special boot, brace, or splint. Those with more severe fractures may need to wear a cast and use crutches, so they can avoid putting any weight on the foot.
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