Posts for: July, 2018
If you have diabetes, even minor foot conditions and injuries like an ingrown toenail or a blister can lead to potentially serious complications. Preventive care like wearing clean socks and comfortable, supportive shoes and keeping the toenails neat and trimmed are very important for people with diabetes. Dr. Robert Linn, a podiatrist in Ocala, FL, advises diabetic patients to make regular foot care a regular part of their healthcare and wellness routine.
Diabetic Foot Care in Ocala, FL
People with diabetes are more susceptible to a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, which decreases circulation and the blood flow to the nerves in feet. This condition can make it difficult to feel pain and sensation in the feet over time. The most common symptoms of diabetic foot complications are:
- Tingling and numbness
- Pain and cramping
- Extreme sensitivity
- Burning sensation
- Muscle atrophy
- Balance and reflex issues
- Increased risk of foot ulcers, infection, and joint problems
There are a number of precautions that can help to limit the risk of complications from diabetic foot. The first step is to work with your primary physician to manage your diabetes and keep your blood sugar stable. The American Diabetes Association recommends the following tips to help keep your feet healthy as you manage your diabetes:
- Check your feet every day, even if you don't have any symptoms (and don't forget to check the bottom of your feet)
- Avoid walking barefoot, and wear clean socks and comfortable shoes that fit properly and don't crowd your toes or feel tight, which can increase the risk of calluses and blisters
- Keep your toenails trimmed - cut straight across and avoid sharp edges (see a podiatrist if you have difficulty grooming your toenails)
- Avoid the area between the toes when applying lotion
- Wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day
- Discuss an appropriate exercise plan and level of activity with your doctor, and maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid tobacco and smoking
- Elevate your feet when sitting, and move your feet and toes throughout the day to keep the blood circulating
Find a Podiatrist in Ocala, FL
For more information about diabetic foot care and prevention, contact Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala by calling (352) 861-1055 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Linn today.
Foot care is something that is important to your overall well-being and is something that is often overlooked. There are some basic guidelines you can follow in order to keep your feet healthy and feeling good.
1. Don’t ignore unusual pain. If you are feeling a constant pain in your feet, it’s important to call your podiatrist immediately. They can help identify any pain and develop a treatment plan to make sure that your feet are healthy.
2. Inspect your feet regularly. It’s easy to ignore irregularities around your feet, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on them. It’s important to be sure that there aren’t any drastic changes in color or temperature, and to make sure that your toenails aren’t too thick or discolored. Also be sure to pay attention to cracks or cuts in the skin, and to make sure that there aren’t any growths on your feet.
3. Keep proper foot hygiene. It’s important to wash your feet regularly, even between the toes, and make sure that the foot is totally dry. It’s also important to regularly trim toenails. Be careful to only trim nails straight across and not on the sides or corners to avoid ingrown toenails. If you are a person with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems, be sure to go to your podiatrist when trimming toenails in order to avoid infection.
4. Get proper fitting shoes. When purchasing shoes, try to go later in the day when your feet are at their largest and make sure to replace worn out shoes. Make sure that the shoes you pick are the correct shoe for whatever activities you are engaging in. Also, it’s important to not wear the same pair of shoes or socks multiple days in a row.
5. Avoid walking barefoot. When walking around barefoot, your feet are more prone to injury.
6. Don’t forget your feet! When wearing sandals, it’s very important to apply sunscreen to your feet as well as the rest of your body!
Following these guidelines will help keep your feet happy and healthy, and in turn help your overall well-being!
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.