Follow these steps to help prevent injuries and help them heal faster.
- Keep your blood sugar levels down. Poor circulation, neuropathy, and a weakened immune system can all be improved with good control of your Diabetes. Your Diabetes doctor can help you develop a plan to keep your blood sugar stable.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is a risk factor for poor circulation, which increases your susceptibility for wounds and poor healing.
- Wear well-fitting shoes. One of the best ways to ward off a foot injury is to wear protective shoes that fit well. If you have neuropathy, it’s best to avoid walking around barefoot, even in your own house.
- Keep your feet clean and your nails trimmed. Wash your feet with soap and water daily and apply lotion to the entire foot to avoid cracked skin. Trimming your nails can help prevent an ingrown toenail. Patients with neuropathy should see a foot doctor for nail trimming.
- Do a daily foot check. Inspect the skin on your feet, including the area between your toes.
- Learn to spot the warning signs. Callouses are often the first sign that you’re putting pressure on certain areas of your feet, which can lead to an ulcer. Look for callouses and see your doctor if they become red and painful. Also look for cuts, blood, tenderness, a foul-smelling discharge, swelling, or black or blue skin. If you notice any of these changes, see your doctor immediately. If you can’t walk because of pain or tenderness, consider that a sign to get professional help.
- Treat a wound immediately. If you find a wound, clean it with gentle soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a bandage. Repeat this process twice a day and keep it covered in the bath or shower. If there’s any swelling, pus, or drainage; or it looks, feels, or smells bad, get your foot looked at immediately. Typically, superficial wounds heal within 5 to 7 days, but if it doesn’t, see your doctor.
Contact our offices Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates and schedule an appointment today.
To learn more about Diabetic foot wound care, go to Heel Pain Institute of America or Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Foot & Ankle Associates.
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