Diabetic Wound Care for Safer Feet
There are many significant components to diabetic foot care, but perhaps the most important is wound care. An otherwise healthy person might not need to give as much thought to a minor injury on the foot, but even a tiny scrape could devolve into a serious medical complication for someone who lives with diabetes if it is not properly attended to.
At Brook Valley Podiatry, we want to know that all of our patients are able to stay safe and healthy, which means being able to recognize and treat diabetic wounds.
Symptoms of Diabetic Wounds
It is important to understand that diabetes often, but not always, is accompanied by neuropathy. This nerve damage can impair the ability to feel physical sensations. As such, you cannot rely exclusively on pain as the main symptom of an issue.
The inability to feel pain underscores the importance of performing a daily foot inspection. This is best performed at night, before you go to bed. Be sure to inspect each foot carefully, including the areas between toes. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet without assistance, either use a mirror or enlist the help of a loved one.
While conducting your inspection, stay alert for signs of inflammation (swelling, redness, warmth) and infection (discharge, dead tissue, drainage, and foul odor). Additionally, any color, texture, temperature, or growth that is unusual constitutes a warning flag and is reason to schedule an appointment with our office.
A common sign that a foot ulcer has developed is drainage on a sock, so be sure to pay attention when you take yours off.
Wound Care Treatment
As soon as you sustain a wound, immediately take the time to properly address it, which means rinsing the affected area under running water to remove any dirt particles. Avoid the impulse to use iodine, hydrogen peroxide, or soap, any of which can cause irritation. Instead, apply an antibiotic ointment after the wound is rinsed and then use a sterile bandage to cover the wound. Replace the bandage every day with a fresh, sterile one. Keep the area around the wound clean by using mild soap and warm water on the unaffected skin. When changing the dressing, be sure to inspect the wound for any signs of infection.
Even though an injury might seem like a minor cut or scrape, make the earliest appointment possible to come in and see us. Keep in mind that treating a minor issue is always easier than after the problem has become a serious complication.
In the event that you have discovered a foot ulcer, seek immediate medical care. Treatment needs to be administered as soon as possible to decrease the risk of infection and potential amputation.
Diabetic Ulcer Prevention
Of course, the best form of ulcer treatment is to reduce the risk of one developing in the first place. Your prevention plan should begin here in our office. We can determine if you have any existing issues with your gait or footwear that may increase your likelihood of developing a foot ulcer, and then create a plan to correct them. We can also establish regularly-scheduled appointments as a proactive defense against major issues.
Take risk factors like drinking alcohol, smoking, elevated glucose levels, and high cholesterol out of the equation if you want the best chance of preventing diabetic foot ulcers. Also make sure that you always protect your feet with the use of the right socks and shoes. If you are unsure as to which ones are best for you, our office will be glad to assist.
Before putting on footwear, always take a moment to inspect the insides of your socks and shoes. This can help you find any small objects that could potentially cause harm.
Diabetic Foot Care in Spring Valley and Midwood, Brooklyn
If you have any questions about diabetic wound care or need medical care for any issue, even if it seems minor at the time, do not hesitate to contact the staff at Brook Valley Podiatry. We are committed to your health and wellness, so call our Midwood Brooklyn office at (718) 434-0600 or our Spring Valley office at (845) 352-7507 today. You can also schedule your appointment at either location by filling out our online form.