Posts for: October, 2019
At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we know that patients with diabetes have to take extra good care of their feet. Two conditions associated with diabetes—neuropathy and decreased circulation--can prove extremely dangerous for your feet. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can result in loss of sensation in your feet. This means that a cut, injury, blister or rash may go unnoticed initially. These types of problems can progress to a point where they become open wounds and a possible site of infection. Poor circulation can inhibit healing by slowing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the wound, leading to systemic infection and even amputation. That’s why it’s essential to observe extra precautions with your feet to prevent injuries and foot infections.
Below are some tips all patients with diabetes should observe:
Schedule regular checkups with our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger. The foot doctor is your partner in ensuring that your feet stay healthy. By examining your feet periodically, the podiatrist can detect problems in their early stages and monitor chronic foot conditions carefully.
Practice self-exams. In between your podiatrist appointments, it’s imperative that you examine your own feet every day. Look for bruises, cuts, blisters, skin rashes, lumps, swelling, growths or any other unusual changes. These can be signs of a potential issue that could develop into a diabetic ulcer or an infection. If you notice anything concerning, you should immediately contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office.
Keep your feet covered. Always wear shower shoes or flip flops when out in public places like gyms, community pools and, nail salons. This will greatly reduce your risk of contracting a bacterial or fungal infection since these are spread by direct contact. Even at home, you should wear shoes to prevent cuts, puncture wounds and injuries.
Avoid direct heat. Don’t use space heaters, electric blanket or put your feet up in front of the fireplace. Neuropathy may impede your ability to know when it’s too hot and result in burns to the skin.
- Wear shoes that fit properly. Choose styles with roomy toe boxes. When toes are squished together for long periods of time ingrown toenails and toe deformities such as bunions and hammertoes are more likely. Always check the insides of your shoes to be sure there is no loose stitching or rough spots that could rub on your foot and cause a blister.
If you have diabetes, we’re part of your healthcare team and will do everything possible to help keep your feet healthy.
As days get cooler and shorter, we at Patrick Fettinger, DPM find that many patients move their fitness regimens indoors to local gyms and health clubs. This leads to a rise in the number of cases of athlete’s foot, warts and fungal toenails that we treat. Communal areas that are warm and moist are the perfect setting for infections to thrive. Below are some tips for keeping up with your workouts without contracting an unwanted skin or nail condition.
- Keep your feet covered. Wear shower shoes or flip-flops in gym locker rooms and showers. This is probably the single, biggest way to prevent fungal and bacterial infections. These types of conditions are spread by direct contact. You walk barefoot on a surface where someone else has deposited fungi or bacteria and you end up with an infection.
- Don’t share. Yes, generally not socially acceptable but when it comes to towels, soap, socks, nail clippers, emery boards and other items that touch someone else’s feet is a must for preventing fungal, viral and bacterial conditions.
- Keep feet dry. Wearing damp socks for hours can create perfect conditions for infections to develop. Closed shoes, warm socks and the heat going on in offices, cars and stores can all increase your risk. If you tend to sweat excessively, carry an extra pair of socks and change them as soon as you feel that they are damp.
- Practice good podiatric hygiene. Simply washing your feet daily with warm soapy water can go a long way to preventing infections. Be sure to dry feet completely, paying attention to the spaces between your toes as this is where athlete’s foot often starts.
Learn to recognize the signs of foot infections in their earliest stages:
- Red skin
- Dry or scaly skin
- Changes in color or texture of toenails
If you notice any of the above symptoms, be sure to contact our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger, as soon as possible. Make an appointment at one of our two Connecticut locations: New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357).