How to Prevent Foot Ulcers
A foot ulcer is one of the most problematic of events for a patient with diabetes. Since the peripheral neuropathy of diabetes causes a lack of sensation in the extremities, the feet become extremely susceptible to sores and cuts. These injuries can rapidly deteriorate into gangrenous ulcers, possibly requiring amputation of a toe or the entire foot if the infection has spread too far.
The best way to prevent foot ulcers and to avoid the complications and possible amputation risks is to take good care of your feet.
Some excellent methods for preventing diabetic foot ulcers include the following:
- Proper footwear—Wearing shoes that are too tight is one of the most common contributors to diabetic foot problems. You also don’t want your shoes to be too loose in order to prevent friction and blisters or other damage to the skin. Your toes need to have enough room to move around, and your ankles and arches need to be adequately supported. Specially designed shoes for those with diabetes have extra room for shoe inserts and ankle supports. Don’t forget about your socks. Socks for patients with diabetes are seamless and have extra cushioning, while the tops are less restrictive to help promote blood circulation.
- Daily foot inspections—Since nerve damage makes it difficult or impossible to know when you have an injury to your foot, it’s very important to perform a thorough foot inspection every day. Look for any blisters, cuts, or other wounds. Also pay attention to cracks in the skin that can allow bacteria to enter, possibly causing infection. Check the bottoms of your feet using a mirror, and be sure to carefully inspect between the toes. Remember to always look carefully at your toenails for signs of a fungal nail infection.
For more expert advice on foot ulcer prevention and treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!