Like a spring cleaning checklist, those with diabetes must follow a detailed regimen, and one that’s far more important than cleaning windows and closets, and trimming back shrubs! From watching your diet and controlling glucose levels, to safely exercising and making sure your shoes fit properly, if you are diabetic, there is a lot on your to-do list – but perhaps the most important is performing a daily self-foot exam. This is your best defense against a diabetic wound becoming infected and quickly snowballing into a dangerous ulcer that can lead to amputation. It is vital that you catch ulcers early and get the wound care you need to avoid such devastating consequences.
A wound can easily go unnoticed and worsen if you never look at your feet. Neuropathy is commonly associated with diabetes, causing a lack of sensation in your feet and allowing you to sustain injuries without even noticing. Because diabetes also negatively affects your circulation, the blood carrying the nutrients your wound needs to heal can take far too long to reach it. Infection can set in, and what started as just a small scratch or blister can turn into an ulcer in dire need of attention. Take the time to check your feet!
As soon as you notice any sign of a wound – no matter how small – you should contact us immediately. If an ulceration is present, we will clean the wound and remove damaged tissue (debridement), medicate and dress the area, and have you “off-load,” which means take the pressure of weight off your foot. This can be accomplished with a special boot or cast, crutches or a wheelchair.
Of course, you can avoid all this by avoiding diabetic wounds in the first place. The number one way to prevent serious complications is to manage your disease. In addition, keep feet clean and dry; wear wicking socks and shoes that fit well; check footwear before putting it on to ensure there is not an object inside or seam in the materials that could cause your foot harm; finally, keep up with your own foot checks, as well as ours by scheduling regular visits with us!
Call to make an appointment, ask any questions, or request more information. You can reach our Princeton office by dialing (609) 924-8333, or contact us in Roselle Park at (908) 687-5757.
We will help you have a safe and healthy spring!