Preventing Diabetic Ulcers
At NY Foot Health, we know that for patients with diabetes ulcers on the skin of the feet are a big concern. Decreased circulation associated with diabetes can slow the healing process for wounds. And elevations in blood glucose can decrease the body’s ability to fight off potential infections. Foot ulcers precede 85% of all diabetes-related amputations. Fortunately, however, there have been many advances in wound care and prevention in recent years. Research has shown the foot ulcers are preventable. Below are some ways you can lower your risk of foot ulcers if you have diabetes.
Don’t go barefoot. Neuropathy—or loss of sensation—in your feet is another condition associated with diabetes. It can increase your risk for getting a small cut, puncture wound, or other injury on your feet that can become infected. For this reason, it’s best to keep feet covered even when you are at home.
Wear properly fitting shoes. Be sure that your shoes are professionally fitted to avoid wearing shoes that are too small for your feet. Wide, roomy toe boxes and soft, flexible materials will help prevent friction and pressure on your feet that can lead to blisters and sores.
Choose the right socks. Don’t buy socks that have tight elastic around the tops or rigid, pronounced seams on the toes. Look for socks that provide extra cushioning to protect your feet. Materials known to wick moisture away from your feet are also beneficial, because keeping your feet dry is one way to prevent fungal infections which can also result in ulcers.
Examine your feet daily. Look over your entire foot every day or have someone else do for you if you can’t see your whole foot. Don’t forget the spaces between your toes too. Note any cracks in the skin, cuts, redness, rashes, bruises or swelling and report anything unusual to your podiatrist right away. It’s essential that regular podiatric care be part of your health regimen if you have diabetes. To find a podiatrist in your area, consult our online directory.
At NY Foot Health, we want to see all patients develop strategies aimed at protecting the health of their feet and ankles. To learn more, contact us.