Famous Italian artist and philosopher Leonardo Di Vinci had it right when he penned; “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
Feet; so important, yet so underappreciated. We ask a lot of our feet every day, but we don’t always take care of them like we should.
Showing love to your feet becomes even more important if you have diabetes. In this case, it’s vital to treat foot injuries right away. Even minor wounds on feet can turn into serious foot ulcers, which can cost you a foot – or an entire leg – if you don’t care for them quickly and properly.
When is a Foot Wound a Bigger Problem?
Foot sores and wounds on the feet are among the most common symptoms of PAD (peripheral artery disease), a condition that can cause a number of problems in the lower extremities. So, if you are experiencing foot wounds coupled with any or all of the various risk factors listed below, see your doctor right away, to be tested for peripheral artery disease before symptoms worsen.
PAD risk factors:
- Age (over 50)
- High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
- Current or history of tobacco use
If you do not address PAD in its beginning stages, the foot sores can cause serious infections and sepsis that can lead to amputation if left untreated.
Symptoms of severe PAD include:
- Leg pain that does not go away when you stop exercising
- Foot wounds that will not heal or heal very slowly
- A noticeable decrease in the temperature of your lower leg or foot particularly compared to the other leg or to the rest of your body
Let’s look at the most common causes of foot sores (so you can avoid them) and proper wound care (which may involve a visit to your doctor).
What Are The Common Causes of Foot Wounds?
What you put on your feet matters. You can get a foot sore/ulcer from something as simple as walking in new or tight-fitting shoes or getting a small pebble stuck in the shoe. If you have diabetes, you may also have nerve damage – called Neuropathy – that could keep you from being able to feel a blister or sore so that you can address it before it develops into something more serious. You also might have poor blood flow to your feet, which makes it hard for even minor cuts to heal.
Proper Wound Care
If you do injure your foot, don’t try to take care of it yourself. It is best to go to a wound-care center or your doctor, even for calluses, blisters, and scratches. It is important to not ignore a wound or to let it become too big. A doctor will know the best way to clean and treat your wound.
Prevention is the Best Way to Love Your Feet
- Check your feet daily.If you’ve lost feeling in your feet, it is important to routinely look to see if something is wrong.
- Wash them well.When you shower, soap your feet with warm water and dry them thoroughly, even between the toes. Use lotion or cream to keep skin from drying or cracking, which can cause sores.
- Dress for comfort.Keep your feet cushioned with soft socks and comfortable footwear. Avoid high heels, pointy toes, and narrow styles, which can harm your feet. Your doctor may prescribe special shoes if necessary.
- Keep your toenails trimmed.People with diabetes should see a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in foot care to have their toenails properly trimmed to avoid foot wounds.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you are experiencing any of the PAD symptoms above, especially if you are diabetic and have a slow-healing foot wound, make an appointment with Dallas vascular surgeon Dr. Lam today. Click here to schedule.
The information contained in this article is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician’s advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. The physicians of Lam Vascular and Associates manage and own a direct financial interest in their noninvasive ultrasound imaging center and Office Based Surgery Laboratory (Angio Suite). Click here for full disclosure.