Items filtered by date: July 2023
People who are diabetic are generally concerned about developing a diabetic foot ulcer. Proper wound care treatment is crucial for this type of infection, and serious consequences may ensue if prompt medical attention is not received. Research has shown that approximately 25 percent of diabetic patients will develop a foot ulcer, and implementing prevention techniques may help to avoid this. An essential step for this type of wound care treatment can be to remove the necrotic or dead wound tissue. This is referred to as debridement, and there are various ways to treat this. It is important to reduce any pressure on the wound, and often an off-loading boot is worn. The wound is typically drained, and the healthy underlying tissue is examined. Effective prevention methods can include keeping glucose levels within a normal range, drinking plenty of water daily, and eating healthy foods. If you have a diabetic foot ulcer, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can provide the proper treatment.
Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Wound Care?
Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic.
What Is the Importance of Wound Care?
While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.
How to Care for Wounds
The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.
Gout is a condition that affects the joints in the big toe. It often begins in that area, and it may spread to other parts of the foot if treatment is not received. Gout can happen when excess uric acid occurs and collects in the joints of the toes. Common symptoms that many people experience with gout can include intense pain, swelling, and it can be difficult to walk. Foods that are eaten with purines may produce uric acid, and it is beneficial to limit eating these types of foods. These can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Additionally, drinking plenty of water daily to stay hydrated may help to avoid painful gout episodes. Many people enjoy getting massages and have reported they may help to relieve the pain of gout. If you have pain in your big toe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat and offer prevention techniques against gout.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.
People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.
Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.
A sign that you may have developed toenail fungus is the yellow appearance of the nails. They may also become thicker and begin to crumble. If ignored, a fungal toenail infection, medically termed onychomycosis, may result in other problems. It can easily spread to other parts of the foot simply by not changing socks and shoes daily. Toenail fungus is especially risky for diabetics, whose skin may have cracked as a result of poor circulation. This allows for the additional possibility of bacteria entering the body, and may in turn cause cellulitis. In some cases of fungal toenail infections, the only way to treat it is to remove the nail. The nail will grow back with time. If the infection is extremely serious, the toenail may have to be permanently removed, by performing a procedure called matrixectomy. This destroys the growing center at the base of the nail bed, ensuring that the fungus will not grow back. If you have toenail fungus, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination and treatment options.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.
Antifungals & Deterrence
Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.
Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.
If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.
Many podiatrists cannot stress the importance of stretching the feet enough. When the feet are frequently stretched, foot pain and fatigue may be reduced, and circulation can be improved. The feet can tire from standing or walking for several hours during the day, in addition to wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. A common foot stretch is known as a calf or runner’s stretch. This is done by standing on a step while lowering one heel at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. The movement of the foot is controlled by two calf muscles, which connect to the Achilles tendon. These muscles can generally be tight, and performing a runner’s stretch can be an effective way to loosen them. The muscles in the feet that provide movement to the toes are called intrinsic muscles, and are located between the metatarsal bones. They can weaken with age, and stretching them properly may slow down this process. There are numerous stretches that can be done for the feet and toes, and if you would like more information about how to perform these, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.
Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Stretching the Feet
Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.
- Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
- Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
- Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
- Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.
It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.