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Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Wound Care for People with Diabetes

In most cases, small lacerations on the feet naturally heal without any complications. Unfortunately, this is not true for those who suffer from diabetes. Foot ulcers are a common problem for those with diabetes, because diabetic neuropathy affects their ability to feel these wounds. Diabetic neuropathy occurs as a result of nerve damage and causes numbness and pain in the hands and feet. Therefore, people with diabetes may not feel an ulcer, which will lead to it not being treated. Some signs of an ulcer are drainage, redness, swelling, and odor. An ulcer that is left untreated will worsen and black tissue called eschar might form. When tissue death occurs because of infection this is called gangrene. Both symptoms can be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously. Those with diabetes should perform daily foot checks to ensure that no ulcers have formed. If you have diabetes and would like more information about how to properly care for your feet, it is recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

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 Dr. James McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. 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 nondiabetic. 

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.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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When proper circulation occurs in the body, the blood effectively carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells. If poor circulation develops, the blood flow is hindered, and blockages in the arteries may occur. Organs that include the brain and the heart may be compromised as a result of inadequate blood flow, and this may lead to unwanted health conditions. There are several reasons why poor circulation may occur, which may include genetic traits, a lack of exercise, and poor eating habits. Symptoms of this condition may include experiencing cold feet and toes for the majority of the day, a tingling sensation or numbness, a lack of energy, or swollen feet. Research has indicated that if specific foods are ingested, it may be easier to maintain proper circulation. These foods may include foods that are spicy, oranges, fish, and garlic. Additionally, performing a daily exercise routine may aid in promoting good circulation. If you have symptoms of this condition, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and offer proper treatment options.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. James McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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