Did you know that the leading cause of lower extremity amputations not caused by trauma is diabetes? And, foot ulcers precede 85 percent of these amputations. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want patients to know that diabetic foot ulcers can be prevented and our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will work with you to develop a care regimen and monitor your feet as a diabetic patient. Adhering to a schedule of regular podiatric checkups is an important step in protecting your feet if you have diabetes. Below are other areas where you can be proactive in preventing ulcers:
Healthy Foot Habits—in addition to regular podiatric exams, doing your own self-exams at home is also very important. Foot ulcers commonly form on the soles of the feet so be sure you check the bottom of your feet carefully (or have someone do it for you) and the rest of your feet as well on a daily basis. Report any redness, sores, blisters, rashes or cuts to the foot doctor asap. You should also wash your feet daily and dry completely. Use foot powder and change your socks whenever you notice that your feet feel damp. This will reduce the risk of bacterial and fungal conditions which can lead to infections and wounds.
Footwear—the shoes you wear can play a big part in preventing conditions that can lead to wounds. Choose styles that are made of soft, flexible material and have wide, roomy toe boxes. Shoes that squeeze toes together can increase the risk of ingrown toenails and blisters and hasten the progression of toe problems like hammertoes and bunions. Periodically run your hand around the inside of your shoes to make sure there are no small pebbles stuck inside or loose stitching that can rub against the skin and cause an irritation.
Lifestyle Choices—one of the most important steps you can take for preventing ulcers is keeping your blood sugar levels where they should be. Follow the dietary plan your doctor has given you and fill your menus with nutrient-rich foods that are low in sugar. Don’t smoke because it impedes circulation. Limit alcohol use as this has been linked with an increased risk of foot ulcers.