Diabetic foot care

the way diabetic feet should be taken care of

DIABETIC FOOT CARE Frequently Asked Questions

When you think of diabetes, you probably think about avoiding sugar and taking blood tests.

However, if you’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes, you should also be thinking about your feet and ankles.

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease with no cure that plagues millions every year. Diabetes is the body’s inability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, affecting how your body turns food into energy. The majority of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (glucose), then released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar rises, it communicates with your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin allows the blood sugar to enter your body’s cells for use of energy.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or simply can’t use the insulin it naturally creates as well as it should. When your body doesn’t have sufficient insulin or the cells no longer respond to the insulin, you retain a dangerous amount of blood sugar in your bloodstream. 

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing ulcers and other diabetic foot problems, such as; bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections and more. 

Due to type 1 and type 2 diabetes causing damage to the blood vessels and peripheral nerves, two main conditions are found to be responsible for the increased risk of foot & leg problems in those with diabetes:

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a problem that can appear from compromised blood vessels. The problem is with narrowed, blocked up blood vessels traveling into your feet and ankles.
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Diabetes is often accompanied by a condition called neuropathy. Damaged nerves may misfire and cause aching, burning, or shooting pains. You may have numb patches, too. Being diagnosed with neuropathy does not mean that there is no hope. At Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic, our doctors specialize in treating this condition, and can help diagnose and treat both the discomfort and the potential complications of peripheral neuropathy.

A foot ulcer is an open sore on your foot. Your skin tissue breaks down, causing a hole in the deeper layers of your skin.

Ulcer size ranges from very small to larger than the size of a half-dollar. Foot ulcers can be crater-like and deepen the longer they are left untreated.

Those with Diabetes have a compromised immune system, therefore can’t heal wounds as efficiently. Walking on an injury or area with increased pressure that you can’t feel due to neuropathy will only cause the skin deteriorate. Typically causing a diabetic foot ulcer, which are quite serious if not properly treated.

Learn more: Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Ulcers appear most often under your big toes and balls of your feet. Where your bodies natural pressure points present. Some ulcers are so small, you won’t notice them until they are infected. An early sign of infected ulcers is drainage stains on your socks.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • An unusual odor
  • Irritation

 

Most common causes of foot ulcers are:

  • Poor Circulation: Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your feet less able to fight infection and to heal.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden. Without healthy circulation of blood in your system, small cuts or scrapes don’t heal quickly enough, forming a foot ulcer.
  • Nerve damage: Nerve damage decreases the feeling in your feet causing small sores to develop from dry, cracked skin that often times go unnoticed until they turn into ulcers.

If you are a Diabetic, seeing a podiatrist regularly will help you spot a foot ulcer before it becomes infected. Being preventive, rather reactive can be the key to preventing amputation. 

You can prevent foot ulcers in several ways, including:

  • Foot baths
  • Checking for cuts or scrapes daily
  • Wearing shoes that fit well
  • Trimming your toenails correctly, cutting straight across the nail instead of rounding the edges
  • Avoiding smoking

 

diabetic foot care

treatment
options

Diabetes affects every area of your health, requiring constant monitoring. In fact, good diabetic foot care can be crucial for preventing severe, painful complications that could deteriorate into life-threatening infections or limb amputations.

Once our highly skilled team at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic diagnoses you with a foot ulcer, treatment needs to start right away!

CONSERVATIVE CARE
TREATMENTS OPTIONS:

The doctor may suggest treating your ulcer by:

  • Resting your feet
  • Wearing orthotic shoes or braces
  • Removing dead skin at the clinic
  • Taking an X-ray to check for bone infections or send some samples of your skin cells to the lab.
  • Using an antibiotics (the lab determines if an antibiotic will help fight your infection.)
  • If traditional treatments are ineffective, our doctors give great respects to their continued education.

ADVANCED
TREATMENTS & SURGERIES

Dr. Silvester and Dr. Larsen specialize in many advanced minimally and non-invasive treatments, and if necessary, advanced minimally invasive and traditional surgical techniques with patient proven success stories.

Some of those are used to treat diabetic foot care conditions, such as:

  • Tendon Lengthening/Balancing
  • EpiFix

Learn More >

EpiFix is a dehydrated amnion/chorion membrane allograft (skin substitute product) that contains growth factors essential for wound healing. EpiFix when applied to an open wound will help your own cells regenerate the damaged tissue, reduce scar tissue formation, and control inflammation.

Proven Clinic Healing!

EpiFix Treatments demonstrates clinical superiority in the management of diabetic foot ulcers in multiple prospective, randomized comparative studies.

Learn More >

The way Diabetic Foot Ulcer's should be treated!

Dr. Silvester talks about what Diabetics need to know about foot health.

Click the icon to request a appointment call back request, or call us at 210-375-3318.

testimonial

“I am a 58-year old male who discovered he had diabetes. Over the last 3 to 4 years I have had problems with infections and ulcers, especially on my left foot. The loss of feeling, particularly in the left foot made it impossible for me to feel when something was wrong.

   In August, 2005 Dr. Darren J. Silvester talked to me about a procedure to improve the situation. Dr. Silvester has treated me for the last few years and I value his advice. He performed a test to see if the procedure would help and soon after he performed the surgery.

   I went into this with a lot of hope and two weeks later the results exceeded my wildest dreams. During the first examination he touched the bottom of my foot and it tickled! I haven’t had that much feeling in a very long time.

   I would like to thank Dr. Silvester and his wonderful staff, I cannot say enough about their caring and concerned approach to my health and wellbeing. Dr. Silvester has my full approval to show or use this letter in any manner he thinks will help others, and I can be reached…if anyone wishes to contact me.”

B.M.

Floresville, TX

Take the next step
to happy feet!

Click the links to request your appointment or learn more about what Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic can do for you.

Where will take you?