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Diabetic Foot Care Specialist

Worman Foot & Ankle Associates

Podiatry located in Largo, FL

Diabetic foot care is important for the prevention and treatment of serious slow-healing wounds. With his expertise in comprehensive diabetic foot care management and wound care, Jeffrey Worman, DPM, of Worman Foot & Ankle Associates can help you keep your feet healthy. Book your diabetic foot care examination at this Largo, Florida, practice by clicking on the online scheduler. You can also call the office to book a visit.

Diabetic Foot Care Q & A

What is diabetic foot care?

Diabetes can lead to a lot of problems with your feet and ankles. The main issue is that blood sugar fluctuations damage vessels and limit blood flow. Because of this, the skin of your feet and ankles doesn’t receive a strong, steady supply of vital nutrients and oxygen it needs to thrive.

This can lead to nerve damage — known as diabetic neuropathy — as well as slow-healing wounds that can turn into dangerous limb-threatening diabetic ulcers. Diabetic foot care involves being proactive and taking measures to protect your feet. Your diabetic foot care management plan can include:

  • Nail trimming
  • Diabetic shoes
  • Custom orthotics
  • Wound debridement
  • Corn or callus removal

With regular diabetic foot care visits, you can receive treatment early on if a wound does occur and learn about lifestyle changes you can make to prevent future foot wounds.

How often should I see a podiatrist if I have diabetes?

It depends. If you’ve got your diabetes under control and don’t have a history of serious foot wounds, you may only need annual diabetic foot care visits at Worman Foot & Ankle Associates. But Dr. Worman may recommend more frequent visits if you:

  • Were recently diagnosed with diabetes
  • Have frequent blood sugar surges
  • Have a history of diabetic ulcers

In these cases, Dr. Worman could recommend diabetic foot care exams two to four times each year, or as needed.

What happens during a diabetic foot care appointment?

Your diabetic foot care appointment at Worman Foot & Ankle Associates begins with a discussion with Dr. Worman. He spends time getting to know you, your history with diabetes, and any concerns you may have.

Dr. Worman thoroughly evaluates your feet, and if you have any abnormalities, like a bunion, he can request in-office digital X-ray imaging to get to the root of your condition.

During your diabetic foot care visit, Dr. Worman can also trim your toenails, treat any wounds, and remove calluses, among other treatments. Dr. Worman personalizes your diabetic foot care evaluation to your health and any current symptoms.

If you need to get started on your diabetic foot care plan, contact Worman Foot & Ankle Associates today. Click on the online scheduler or call the office directly.

Why Is Diabetic Foot Care Important?

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.

Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet or face severe consequences, including amputation. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that’s too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not healing, it’s at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections spread quickly. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. If necessary, get someone to help you, or use a mirror.

Here’s some basic advice for taking care of your feet:

  • Always keep your feet warm.
  • Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain.
  • Don’t put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
  • Don’t smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet.
  • Don’t soak your feet.
  • Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
  • Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office.
  • Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don’t put any lotion between your toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
  • Wear loose socks to bed.
  • Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
  • When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
  • Buy shoes that are comfortable without a “breaking in” period. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel, and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels. Try to get shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. Wear new shoes for only two hours or less at a time. Don’t wear the same pair every day. Inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on.
  • Don’t lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
  • Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.

When your feet become numb, they are at risk for becoming deformed. One way this happens is through ulcers. Open sores may become infected. Another way is the bone condition Charcot (pronounced “sharko”) foot. This is one of the most serious foot problems you can face. It warps the shape of your foot when your bones fracture and disintegrate, and yet you continue to walk on it because it doesn’t hurt. Diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of Charcot fractures can be treated with a total contact cast.

The shape of your foot molds the cast. It lets your ulcer heal by distributing weight and relieving pressure. If you have Charcot foot, the cast controls your foot’s movement and supports its contours if you don’t put any weight on it. To use a total contact cast, you need good blood flow in your foot. The cast is changed every week or two until your foot heals. A custom-walking boot is another way to treat your Charcot foot. It supports the foot until all the swelling goes down, which can take as long as a year. You should keep from putting your weight on the Charcot foot. Surgery is considered if your deformity is too severe for a brace or shoe.