Diabetic Foot Care: Managing Risk and Preventing Complications

Caring for diabetic foot wounds is vital because those with diabetes have a higher risk of related complications from the disease, which can develop into more severe health issues. If you face diabetes like millions of other Americans, Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel of Emerald Coast Podiatry, serving Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Niceville, FL, can assist you in maintaining proper diabetic foot care and help you keep your feet healthy. 

Why Managing Diabetes is Essential for Proper Diabetic Foot Care?

 Diabetes is systemic. It weakens your body’s ability to heal. Diabetics are challenged to maintain their blood sugar levels near (or as close to) the defined normal range as this ensures their immune systems have the strength and capacity to fight potential invaders anywhere in the body. In addition, diabetics face –

  • Increased Infection Risks
    For diabetics, minor wounds or superficial blisters can swiftly become infected if not treated properly. The problem intensifies when the infection spreads to more systemic conditions like cellulitis. 
  • Potential Ulcers (Open Foot Sores)
    An open sore can result from shoes creating pressure, friction, or injury. They tend to heal slowly, creating a potential for infection or tissue damage. 
  • Neuropathy
    Many people with diabetes experience nerve damage characterized by a loss of sensation – i.e., numbness or tingling, etc. With reduced feeling, someone with diabetes may not be aware of a wound until the condition becomes harder to treat.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
    This diabetes-related condition restricts blood flow (and causes poor circulation) to a diabetic’s extremities. Ultimately, healing for diabetics is simply more challenging and can take more time – especially when the wound is on their feet – where blood and nutrients from their heart must travel furthest. 

Diabetic Foot Care - Preventing Complications

 These simple at-home foot care suggestions can help proactively prevent diabetic foot complications

  • Cleanse and examine your feet daily, looking for cuts, infections, etc. Ask for help if necessary.
  • Clean existing wounds with mild soap and water. 
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound with a sterile bandage. 
  • Maintain recommended blood sugar levels.
  • Choose comfortable, supportive footwear that fits properly.
  • See a podiatrist regularly to ensure foot issues are caught early.  

Contact a Leading Podiatrist in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Niceville, FL

 Diabetic foot care is imperative for maintaining one’s quality of life. In addition, the consequences of leaving a sore or open foot wound untreated can be quite severe because amputation is not out of the question should a diabetic foot wound advance to a more serious condition.

For more information, contact Dr. Ricciardi, Dr. Patel, or a staff member of Emerald Coast Podiatry at 850-862-4119 or online.

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