Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

017Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

When you have diabetes, you need to examine your feet every day. Be sure to look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. It may be helpful to use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. If you can’t see well, have someone else use this Diabetes Foot Checklist to examine your feet for you. Using this Diabetes Foot Checklist helps you remember to examine all areas of your feet.

Diabetes Foot Checklist
Check your feet for: What to do if you notice a problem
Skin color:

·         Red

·         Blue or black

·         Redness could point to irritation from shoes, overheating or other early signs of a problem. Do what you can to discover the cause so you can fix it, such as wearing shoes that fit better.

·         Blue or black areas can mean bruising or blood flow problems. Call your doctor to report them.

Patches where hair is missing Bald patches may mean irritation from shoes or a blood flow problem. Show the areas to your doctor during your next visit.
Blister ·         Try to discover the cause of the blister. Friction or rubbing against your skin causes blisters. You may need new shoes.

·         Do not break the blister or open it yourself. Leave the skin over the blister intact.

·         Cover the blister with a sterile, nonstick dressing and paper tape.

·         Call your doctor if any blister becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.

Break in your skin ·         Gently wash the area with mild soap; blot it dry and cover it with a sterile, nonstick dressing.

·         Call your doctor if any break in the skin becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.

Note: Examine the underside of your toes and the area between the toes for breaks in the skin.

Calluses (hardened areas of skin) and corns (pressure sores, usually found on or between toes) Show the area to your doctor at your next visit. This is very important.

·         Do not use products sold in drugstores to remove corns, calluses, or other problems.

·         Don’t use a pumice stone on calluses unless your doctor or foot doctor (podiatrist) shows you how to use it properly.

·         No cutting, filing, or anything that may break the skin on your feet.

Peeling skin or tiny blisters between your toes or cracking and oozing of the skin This may be athlete’s foot. Treating athlete’s foot early can prevent serious foot infections. See the topic Athlete’s Foot for more information.

·         To prevent athlete’s foot, wear shower shoes or bathing shoes when you use public showers or pools. Otherwise, keep feet dry.

·         Keep feet clean. Wear clean socks every day.

·         Do not treat athlete’s foot without first seeing your doctor or podiatrist.

Moisture between your toes Dry between your toes well. Moisture between your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing infection.
Feelings of numbness, burning, or “pins and needles” If you have new numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away after changing position, call your foot doctor.
Sore (ulcer) Do not try to treat a foot ulcer at home. Call your foot doctor immediately. If you check your feet regularly, you usually will see a problem before it becomes an ulcer.
Ingrown toenail Do not treat an ingrown toenail at home. Call your foot doctor for an appointment.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you manage your diabetes and keep your feet healthy. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in the checklist above or are feeling pain in your foot or lower leg of any kind please come see us as soon as possible. Give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Wound Care: Healing Lower Leg Ulcers

Wound Care
Dr. Thomas LeBeau performing a foot exam.

 

Wound Care

Wound Care: Healing Lower Leg Ulcers

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Foot ulcers and other open foot wounds are a major cause of disability, morbidity and mortality. Varicose veins, poor circulation and diabetes can lead to open foot wounds.

Approximately 15 percent of diabetic patients develop diabetic foot ulcers. Some even suffer foot amputations, many of which are preventable with proper foot wound care treatment.

Foot and ankle wounds can be caused by traumatic injury or could be arterial and venous wounds, pressure ulcers, diabetic wounds and wounds related to diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. Older patients are also vulnerable to poor circulation, decreased sensation and impaired healing.

Wounds can be treated conservatively or aggressively depending on the severity. Like any ailment the best treatment is prevention. For example someone with diabetes should get on a diabetic foot care regiment. A regular diabetic foot care regiment will help prevent future problems that could not only include wounds but also amputations.  Diabetics should be on a diabetic foot care regiment no ifs, ands, or buts about it. However, if you have a foot ulcer/ foot wound that has already developed the sooner you are treated the better. Some foot wounds can be treated with wraps and antibiotics while others may require procedures and skin grafts. All of this often depends on the severity of the foot ulcer / foot wound and how soon it is treated.

Fortunately, wound care is a specialty of podiatry doctor Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM.

See Dr. LeBeau for foot and ankle wound care that includes:
• Foot ulcer treatment and other foot wound care treatment
• Leg ulcer treatment and other leg wound care treatment

Take a step toward saving your feet. Call Dr. LeBeau’s office today at 904-824-0869. Please feel free to use our online Request an Appointment at info@staugustinefoot.com