Foot Ulcers and Infections
Foot ulcers and infections for the diabetic patient can become serious if left untreated. Since diabetics commonly have Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Arterial disease, a minor cut or injury can become a serious infection. The inability to feel the sore and the failure to heal properly can result in hospitalization and possibly amputation.
A podiatrist is uniquely equipped to help the diabetic patient care for their feet and any injuries they may have. Common foot problems that can lead to infection are corns, calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, bunions, warts, Athlete's foot, hammertoes, and dry or cracked skin. By keeping your feet healthy and caring for problems as they occur you can prevent serious foot complications.
If you suspect that you have a foot ulcer you must seek treatment from a podiatrist immediately. Infection can be prevented through comprehensive care and education.
Minor cuts or even cracks from dry skin can turn into ulcers. Your podiatrist may treat a foot ulcer by cleaning and disinfecting it, applying a dressing, prescribing antibiotics, or with surgical debridement which removes the infected tissue.
To protect the area and preserve the dressing during bathing, the utilization of a waterproof plastic covering may be beneficial. If the infection has reached the bone and is unmanageable, amputation may be the only option.
The best method to prevent foot ulcers and infection is to stop them from happening at all. To accomplish this, the diabetic patient must maintain optimal glucose levels, inspect their feet daily, and see a podiatric doctor at least yearly.
If you suffer from Diabetic Neuropathy and/or Peripheral Arterial disease you should see your podiatrist more frequently. Injuries or problems should be addressed by a podiatrist as they occur. It is also important to follow basic foot care such as wearing comfortable shoes and socks as well as practicing proper foot hygiene.
Early detection of foot problems for the diabetic patient is essential to prevent ulcers and infection. Your podiatrist is integral to your health and well-being.