If you've had a diabetic foot ulcer before, you know how tough they are to treat. After weeks of wearing a shoe insert, applying antibiotic cream, and checking in with your doctor, the ulcer finally heals and you can breathe a sigh of relief. But along with that sigh of relief, you should also be making some plans to prevent future diabetic foot ulcers from forming so you don't have to go through this again. Here are some of the major steps you can and should take.
Wear wool or synthetic socks designed to wick away sweat.
Nothing causes foot sores faster than wet socks. Usually, the source of the moisture is your own sweat. If you are careful to only wear wool socks or those made from specialized, synthetic materials that wick moisture away from your feet, then your chances of developing a blister — that could then turn into an ulcer — will go way down. Stay away from cotton socks; they trap moisture against your feet. Also keep a spare pair of socks with you at all times so that if your feet do get wet, you can change your socks.
Get fitted for shoes.
Visit a shoe store that offers professional fitting services, and have your feet properly measured. You may need a size larger or wider of shoes than you have been wearing. Purchasing shoes that really do fit will help prevent blisters that turn into ulcers. You're also better off wearing sneakers than dress shoes. If you work in a profession where dress shoes are required, see if you can keep a pair near your desk to change into before meetings and other important events, but wear sneakers throughout the rest of the day.
If you are overweight, losing weight can help protect against future foot ulcers. The more weight your feet have to support, the greater your risk of ulcers will be. Since dieting as a diabetic can be complicated, it is a good idea to consult with both your doctor and a registered dietitian before attempting to lose weight. Aim for slow and steady weight loss in the coming months, and your risk of foot ulcers should go down.
Diabetic foot ulcers can be tough to treat, so you are best off preventing them in the first place. Talk to a podiatrist to learn about additional treatment and prevention strategies for diabetic wounds.
When you have an ingrown toenail, it can be tempting to take care of the problem on your own. Armed with a set of tweezers and some nail clippers, you might be ready to get in there and take care of business. Unfortunately, a few missteps could lead to a serious infection. I have made this mistake myself, and it almost cost me my toe. I hope that as you evaluate your own foot problems that you will remember how valuable a podiatrist can be. Your foot doctor can inspect your problem and recommend the proper course of action. Read through my website to learn more.