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Posts for tag: healthy feet

Keeping your feet healthy with diabetesSimple steps that help people with diabetes keep their feet healthy

A diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Jonathan Bennett, DPM, a podiatrist at Orange County Foot & Ankle Group and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

People with diabetes may be less aware of cuts or wounds on their feet due to the nerve damage related to their disease, Dr. Bennett points out. “Regular and vigilant foot care can help catch problems before they develop into a health crisis.”

APMA offers advice to help people with diabetes protect their foot health:

  • Inspect your feet daily, checking the entire foot and all 10 toes for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration. Treat wounds immediately and see your podiatrist if a problem persists or infection is apparent.

  • Exercise by walking, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation. Be sure to wear athletic shoes appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing.

  • When you buy new shoes, have them properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape can change over time, and ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of foot pain and lesions. Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are available for people with diabetes, and they may be covered under Medicare. You can find a list of podiatrist-approved footwear and products for people with diabetes on the APMA website, www.apma.org.

  • Keep your feet covered and never go barefoot, even at home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great.

  • See a podiatrist to remove calluses, corns, or warts—don’t tackle them yourself, and don’t ask an unlicensed nonprofessional to do it. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin and injure your foot. Podiatrists are specially trained to address all aspects of foot health for people with diabetes.

  • Get checkups twice a year. An exam by your podiatrist is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy.

“For people with diabetes, taking charge of your own foot health can help you avoid foot-related complications like amputation,” Dr. Bennett says. “Working with today’s podiatrist will help you safeguard your foot health.”

Jonathan Bennett, DPM, is a podiatrist at Orange County foot & Ankle Group in Fullerton and Tustin, Orange County, CA. Call 714-888-6860 or visit our appointments page to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

Foot CareWhether you like to get a pedicure in the nail salon or at home, follow these easy Dos and Don'ts to keep your feet looking and feeling their best.

 

Do's

  • If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.

  • Schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning. Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you're not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.

  • Bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn't use proper sterilization techniques.

  • When eliminating thick, dead skin build-up, also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes, then use the stone, scrub, or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches.

  • When trimming nails, use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to ensure your toenail is cut straight across. Other tools like manicure scissors or fingernail clippers increase the risk of ingrown toenails because of their small, curved shape. See a podiatrist if you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails.

  • To smooth nail edges, use an emery board. File lightly in one direction without using too much pressure, being sure not to scrape the nail's surface.

  • Gently run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under your nails to keep them clean. This helps remove the dirt and build-up you may or may not be able to see.

  • Maintain the proper moisture balance of the skin on your feet by applying emollient-enriched moisturizer to keep soles soft.

  • Use a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick to gently push back cuticles. If toenails are healthy, you can use nail polish to paint toenails. Make sure to remove polish regularly using non-acetone nail polish remover.

 

Don'ts

  • Resist the urge to shave your legs before receiving a pedicure. Freshly shaven legs or small cuts on your legs may allow bacteria to enter.

  • If you are receiving a pedicure and manicure, don't use the same tools for both services as bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.

  • Although certain salons offer this technique, don't allow technicians to use a foot razor to remove dead skin. Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.

  • Don't round the edges of your toenails. This type of shape increases the chances that painful ingrown toenails will develop. 

  • Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they can't be sterilized, don't share nail files with friends and be sure to bring your own to the salon, unless you are sure that the salon replaces them with each customer.

  • Don't use any sharp tools to clean under nails. Using anything sharp makes it easy to puncture the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.

  • Be sure that you don't leave any moisture between toes. Anything left behind can promote the development of athlete's foot or a fungal infection.

  • Because cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria, don't ever cut them. Cutting cuticles increases the risk of infection. Also, avoid incessantly pushing back cuticles, as doing so can make them thicker.

  • If you suffer from thick and discolored toenails, which could be a sign of a fungal infection, don't apply nail polish to cover up the problem. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesn't allow the nail bed to "breathe." Once you fix the underlying issue, then it is safe to paint nails. If the problem persists, be sure to visit your podiatrist.

September 25, 2013
Category: surgery
Tags: healthy feet   bunions   hammertoes  

Time for healthy feetIn most cases, advances in surgical techniques have made bunions and hammertoes correctable with outpatient surgery and patients return home the same day.

This is great time to concentrate on making your feet healthy, and take advanatage of unused insurances before the year is up.

Many patients appreciate checking the surgeries off of their “To Do” lists before the end of the year so they can be ready to tackle New Years resolutions.

Don’t let painful foot conditions slow you down when the weather turns warmer.

Call our office to schedule an examination to determine the best treatment approach and make this your year of healthy feet! Our two offices are conveniently located in Fullerton and Tustin.