Diabetes can harm the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, reducing your ability to feel injuries. Minor foot problems like calluses, blisters, or cracks can develop into serious foot ulcers, often on the ball of the foot or under the big toe. These ulcers can become infected and lead to gangrene, potentially requiring the amputation of toes, parts of the foot, or even the leg. If you have a foot ulcer, it is vital to keep weight off the affected area to aid healing. For diabetics, early treatment of foot issues is crucial to prevent them from worsening. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you make routine appointments with a podiatrist to make sure your foot health is properly managed.
Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Wound Care?
Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic.
What Is the Importance of Wound Care?
While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.
How to Care for Wounds
The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.
If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.
Hammertoe is a prevalent and often uncomfortable foot deformity that affects the toes, typically the second, third, or fourth toes. The condition gets its name from the toe's appearance, as the affected toe tends to bend or contract at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Hammertoes can result from various causes, including wearing poorly fitting footwear that squeezes the toes and forces them into an unnatural position. High heels, in particular, are known culprits. Hammertoe can also be caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that control the toe's movement, leading to an abnormal bend. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Arthritis, injury, or nerve damage can also contribute to the development of hammertoes. The deformity can lead to discomfort, corns, calluses, or open sores due to friction with shoes. Early intervention is essential, and conservative treatments may be successful. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to straighten the affected toe. If you have developed hammertoe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can determine its severity, followed by choosing the best course of treatment for you.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
- Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
- Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe
If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.
Fungal nail infections, or onychomycosis, affect a significant portion of the population, particularly the toenails. Characterized by discoloration, thickening, and sometimes detachment of the nail from its bed, these infections stem from fungi that invade through tiny breaks in the nail or surrounding skin. Anyone can contract this type of infection, but they are especially common in individuals with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, which predispose them to recurrence. Diagnosis should be professionally confirmed, and while treatments, mainly oral antifungal medications, are available, they can be lengthy and sometimes ineffective, with infections taking months to resolve. Notably, even after successful treatment, fungal nail infections can recur, particularly in people with chronic medical conditions that compromise the immune system or circulation. To manage and prevent recurrence, especially if you are at higher risk for these infections, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for comprehensive treatment and continual monitoring of this condition.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.
Antifungals & Deterrence
Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.
Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.