Are you diabetic? People who suffer from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to ankle and foot conditions than other people are. That's why Dr. John Murphy recommends that diabetic patients attend annual check-ups at his office in Ellicott City, MD. During these appointments, your podiatrist uses P.A.D. screening (Peripheral Arterial Disease) to diagnose diseases that may go unnoticed and a CVI Exam to detect damaged valves.
You shouldn't leave it up to your podiatrist to examine your feet—you should regularly inspect them as well. After all, diabetics are likely to develop peripheral neuropathy (i.e. nerve damage) which numbs limbs and makes it difficult for people to feel pain because of poor circulation. During these self-exams, make sure to note any changes in temperature, skin color, pain, and swelling. Keep a close eye on broken skin, ulcers, or high blood pressure, which may result in serious foot injuries.
The importance of proper diabetic foot care is rooted in how you care for feet prior to getting an actual wound. Diabetes impacts a person's nervous, immune, and circulatory systems. If your foot has a wound or an ulcer, you need to speak with your Ellicott City podiatrist. In addition to speaking with your doctor, be sure to wash your feet with warm water and soap on a daily basis, as well as moisturize.
Other ways to maintain the health of your feet is to:
- Trim toenails to prevent ingrown toenails, infections, and nail fungus
- Wear moisture-wicking socks and comfortable shoes to prevent damage
- Buy comfortable shoes that are not too tight or too loose
- Wear clean, dry socks every day
- To avoid cuts and lacerations from harmful objects, never walk outside in bare feet
If you do develop a wound, contact Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD. Dial 410-992-8504 today to get in touch with your podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy.