(2/21/2014) Nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can cause serious foot problems for people with diabetes. Regular foot screenings will help monitor your foot health and provide you with simple safeguards you can take each day to care for and protect your feet.
To help diabetic patients improve the health of their feet, Dr. Scott Hamilton, with Coastal Podiatry Associates, will be conducting diabetic foot screenings at North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center on Thursday, February 27, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The screenings are free of charge.
Diabetes can be very dangerous to the feet. Just a small cut can lead to severe complications. Nerve damage is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes, and this can become so severe that the patient loses all feeling in the feet. However, with regular exams and patient education, some foot problems can be prevented.
"When a patient loses feeling in their feet, it is hard to tell if their shoes are causing pressure or that they are developing problems or pain," said Dr. Hamilton. "Examining the feet on a regular basis will help discover corns or calluses that must be treated properly to avoid developing ulcers. With poor circulation and neuropathy in the feet, cuts or blisters can easily turn into ulcers that become infected and will not heal."
To help patients improve the health of their feet and avoid serious foot problems, Dr. Hamilton recommends following these simple guidelines:
- Inspect your feet daily
- Wash your feet in lukewarm water
- Be gentle when bathing your feet
- Moisturize your feet, but not between your toes
- Cut your nails carefully
- Never treat corns or calluses yourself
- Wear clean, dry socks
- Avoid the wrong type of socks
- Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing
- Keep your feet warm and dry
- Never walk barefoot
- Take care of your diabetes
- Don't smoke
- Get periodic foot exams
Patients with diabetes should constantly monitor their feet. Dr. Hamilton urges patients to look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Because the smallest injury can lead to more severe issues, it is very important for patients to become familiar with their feet.
For more information about diabetes related foot issues or to reserve a time for a diabetic foot screening, please call (843) 390-8326.