The Importance of Foot Inspection for Diabetic Foot Health

Diabetic feet are a unique challenge. Not only do diabetics have to contend with decreased feeling in their feet, but their weakened immune system can also make healing a sore more difficult. That is why it is so important for diabetics to take special care and inspect the bottom of their feet for any potential issues. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of foot inspection for diabetic foot health and how to do it properly. 

Why Diabetics are More Susceptible to Foot Ulcers

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that can cause various complications, including foot ulcers.

Diabetic foot sores or ulcers typically start with an injury or sometimes come from a thing as simple as a blister from an ill-fitting shoe. While this generally wouldn't be much of an issue, the bodies of people living with diabetes have a decreased ability to heal, leaving them more susceptible to wounds and infections. 

Diabetics also tend to have weaker immune systems, making it easier for infections to take hold. 

Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to bad circulation and nerve damage. And decreased circulation and numbness in the feet can mean that even a small sore can quickly turn into a major problem. 

Therefore, it's essential for those with diabetes to inspect their feet regularly and seek medical attention if any issues arise. Early detection and treatment can prevent more severe complications from occurring. 

Daily Foot Inspections are Key 

Daily foot inspections are so important for people with diabetes. By inspecting the bottom of your feet every day, you can catch any sores or wounds before they become infected or worsen. In addition, checking your feet regularly helps you stay in tune with your body and monitor any changes that might indicate a problem with circulation or healing. So don’t underestimate the power of a daily foot inspection – it could be the key to preventing serious complications down the road.

What to Look for When Inspecting Your Feet

When inspecting your feet as a diabetic, it's important to look out for any cuts, blisters, calluses, red spots, or swelling. As diabetics are more susceptible to foot sores, you'll want to keep an eye out for any abnormalities and act quickly if you notice anything unusual.

One of the reasons diabetics are more susceptible to foot sores is due to a bad immune system caused by diabetes. This means the body isn't as good at healing a sore, which can lead to further complication

Another key aspect of foot inspection is keeping your toenails trimmed straight across. This helps to avoid ingrown toenails, which can be particularly dangerous for diabetics. As well as checking for any visible signs of damage, it's important to pay attention to how your feet feel. Diabetics often experience decreased feeling in their feet due to nerve damage, so any changes in sensation should be noted.

Overall, daily foot inspections are essential for diabetics. It's a simple but effective way to catch any issues early on and prevent further complications down the line. So make sure to take the time to inspect your feet each day - your future self will thank you for it.

The Consequences of Ignoring Foot Ulcers

One of the biggest risks of ignoring foot ulcers in diabetes is the increased susceptibility to skin infections. Foot ulcers caused by diabetes are more likely to develop infections, resulting in swelling around the wound site, foul-smelling drainage, fever, and chills, as well as an increased risk of amputation if the infection spreads to the bone.

Another potential consequence of ignoring foot ulcers is the formation of abscesses, which are painful accumulations of pus under the skin's surface. These can lead to severe pain and discomfort, which may require further medical attention.

However, the most dangerous consequence of ignoring foot ulcers is the potential for sepsis, a life-threatening condition where the body's immune system overreacts to an infection and begins to damage tissues and organs. This condition requires immediate medical attention and can lead to severe complications, including difficulty breathing, blue or blotchy skin, and confusion.

Finally, foot amputation may be necessary if the infection becomes too severe and threatens to spread into the bloodstream. This is a last resort and should be avoided whenever possible, but it may become necessary to save the patient's life.

Therefore, it is essential to inspect your feet regularly and seek medical attention from your local Roanoke Podiatrist at the first sign of an ulcer or infection. Ignoring foot ulcers can lead to severe consequences, so it is better to be cautious and proactive about your foot health when you have diabetes.

How to Treat Foot Ulcers

The most important steps to take with a foot ulcer are keeping it clean, using an antibiotic cream, applying gauze to protect it from rubbing, and immediately scheduling an appointment with your local Podiatrist.

Of course, figuring out the cause of the sore - such as the possibility of shoes not fitting properly - is extremely important.

Preventing an infection is first priority. If you or a loved one has diabetes, simply being aware of how risky it is to have something as simple as a small sore is the first step to avoiding a major complication.

How to Prevent Foot Sores

Here are a few tips to help you prevent foot sores: 

  1. Foot Hygiene
    Maintaining proper foot hygiene by washing and drying thoroughly, as well as regularly checking for cuts and wounds, is important. 
  2. The Right Shoes
    Wearing comfortable shoes and avoiding going barefoot are also good habits to adopt. 
  3. Manage Your Diabetes
    One of the best ways to prevent foot sores for diabetics is to manage diabetes. This includes keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in check. Maintaining healthy habits like a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation can greatly improve diabetes management.

If foot lesions or calluses do develop, it’s important not to remove them yourself and to seek the appropriate medical attention. Spotting signs of trouble early, like blisters or discolored skin, and contacting a doctor promptly can help with foot healing and prevent further complications.

We specialize in keeping the feet of our patients with diabetes as healthy as possible. 

Preventing amputations starts with early intervention of any skin or nail concern in a person with diabetes.

Contact us today if you’re concerned about a sore on your foot. 

Dr. Jennifer Keller
Roanoke, VA Foot and Ankle Podiatrist
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