A foot ulcer can quickly become a major problem for people who have diabetes. Since the peripheral nerve damage of diabetes causes a lack feeling in the extremities, the feet become extremely susceptible to unnoticed infections. These can progress to gangrenous ulcers requiring the amputation of a toe, or even your entire foot.
A proven way to prevent foot ulcers and to avoid any complications and possible amputation risks is to take proper care of your feet and to immediately bring any problems to the attention of your foot doctor.
Prevent foot ulcers from forming with these proactive steps:
- Properly-fitted shoes and supports—Wearing shoes that are too tight is one of the most common instigators of diabetic foot problems. Wearing shoes that are too loose can also cause rubbing and blisters, so always have your footwear properly fitted. Specially made shoes for patients with diabetes have deeper heel cups and extra room for orthotic shoe inserts and ankle braces. Socks for those with diabetes are seamless and have extra cushioning, while the top edges are less restrictive to aid with blood circulation.
- Check your feet daily—Peripheral nerve damage makes it difficult to feel when you have an injury to your foot, so it’s very important to perform a thorough foot inspection every day. The main things to look for are any blisters, cuts, or other wounds. Cracks can form in calluses which can allow bacteria to enter, causing infection. Don’t forget to check the bottoms of your feet and be sure to carefully check between your toes. Also check your toenails for signs of yellowing and brittleness which may be signs of a fungal nail infection.
For more expert advice on foot ulcer prevention and treatment, consult with your foot care professional. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.