Up to 26% of those with diabetes have nerve damage at the time of diabetes diagnosis. Because nerve damage can lead to numbness, foot ulcers, and even amputations, diabetes and diabetic foot care go hand-in-hand at the Coatesville, and Limerick, Pennsylvania, offices of Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates. The experienced team of board-certified providers can help you prevent major foot problems while effectively supporting your whole-body health. Call the office in your area or schedule an appointment online today.
Diabetic foot care is all-encompassing foot care for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, you're susceptible to nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation (peripheral arterial disease or PAD), particularly in your extremities.
Diabetic foot care helps you take steps to prevent complications like foot ulcers and amputation. The Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates team skillfully treats all kinds of diabetic foot problems. In addition, they offer in-office wound care, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can cause nerve damage throughout your body. The nerve damage is usually most severe within your feet.
Neuropathy can steal your foot sensation, which means you could unknowingly cut or burn your foot — or even walk around with a tack in your shoe. This might create a wound that does not heal, especially when you add in PAD issues.
With PAD, very little blood reaches your feet, which significantly slows down the recovery process when you're hurt. Because of these two factors, a little cut could potentially become a severe foot ulcer in a matter of weeks.
Untreated, foot ulcers can lead to gangrene (tissue death), cellulitis (skin infection), sepsis (bloodstream infection), osteomyelitis (bone infections), and eventually amputation.
Neuropathy and PAD also contribute to ingrown toenails, fungal infections, bunions, hammertoes, cracked skin, calluses, and corns.
Some with diabetes develop Charcot foot, a neuropathy complication in which bones weaken and collapse to create a rocker-bottom appearance in the foot.
Schedule diabetic foot care checkups at least once every six months to prevent complications. Of course, if you notice any changes like new blisters, cuts, wounds, skin color changes, or other issues, book an appointment as soon as you can.
You can do several things at home to reduce your risk of foot problems. The Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates team may recommend:
Taking care of your feet at home and diabetic foot care at Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates work hand-in-hand to help you stay healthy. Call the office nearest to you or book your appointment online today.