Caring for your feet is an often overlooked task that, in the long run, becomes very important. Foot care is especially important if you are diabetic as side effects of this condition can affect your feet’s ability to feel things correctly, resulting in serious injury or even infections. Learn more about what makes diabetic foot care important and the best way to go about it with Foot Health Center in West Orange, NJ.
Why is diabetic foot care important?
According to the National Institute of Health, about 15% of diabetics will end up with a foot ulcer at some point during their life. Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and reduced blood flow in the feet, a combination which makes for a potentially dangerous situation. These two side effects cause decreased feeling in the foot, meaning that a diabetic may not notice a small cut or scrape, ingrown toenail or bruise in time to treat it. This situation could result in the wound becoming infected, which can spread to other parts of the body or cause serious conditions which, in extreme cases, could result in amputation of the limb.
I’m diabetic. How can I keep my feet healthy?
Keeping your feet healthy begins with simply giving them a once over every day. Take the time to examine each foot, ensuring that there are no cuts, scrapes, bruises or other abnormalities. Be sure to keep your feet clean and dry and wear clean socks daily. Always shake out your shoes before wearing them to avoid a rock or other debris from injuring your foot throughout the day. Trim your toenails regularly and cut them straight across rather than rounding the edges to prevent conditions like ingrown toenails.
Diabetic Foot Care in West Orange, NJ
One of the most beneficial tools to have in your diabetic foot care tool belt is your podiatrist. By going in for routine foot examinations, you could prevent or catch and treat foot-related conditions which could have disastrous results. Additionally, your doctor can help provide you with helpful information or tips on caring for your feet.
For more information on diabetic foot care, please contact your podiatrist at Foot Health Center in West Orange, NJ. Call 973-731-1266 to schedule your appointment today!
Are you worried that your foot symptoms could be eczema?
Are you suffering from itchy, red and blistered feet? Of course, this issue can be mighty unpleasant and not something you should just have to deal with. It can be challenging to tackle the issue effectively if you aren’t sure what is causing your symptoms. Could it be eczema or is it a nasty bout of athlete’s foot? What puts someone at risk for developing eczema on their feet? Our West Orange, NJ podiatrists have the answers.
Dyshidrotic eczema (also referred to as dyshidrosis) is when eczema appears on your feet and hands. If you have this condition you will notice itchy fluid-filled blisters on your feet. They typically last a couple weeks and you may notice flare-ups occur while under stress or when exposed to a certain allergen.
Am I at risk?
It’s believed that you are at greater risk for developing this type of eczema if you have high levels of physical or emotional stress. If you have seasonal allergies this may also leave you more susceptible to developing this skin problem. Those who are exposed to metal salts such as nickel or chromium may also be at an increased risk of developing this form of eczema.
What are the symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema?
Those with this skin condition will have blisters on their feet or hands. These blisters can sometimes grow rather large and also cause pain. These blisters are typically itchy and the skin surrounding these blisters may be dry and flaky. You may also notice that the skin is cracked. It can take several weeks for the blisters to finally dry up and for cracked skin to heal.
How is it treated?
Fortunately, there are many ways to tackle this problem. There are certain corticosteroid creams that you can apply on the skin to treat more mild flare-ups. You may be prescribed a stronger medication if you have a more serious outbreak. Other treatment options include:
- Anti-itch creams
- Draining large, painful blisters
- Immune-suppressant creams and lotions (a less common treatment)
- Dietary changes
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms of eczema then it’s time you visited Foot Health Center in West Orange, NJ to treat your issues and get your foot health back on track.
Having trouble lifting the front part of your foot? Then you could be dealing with foot drop!
If you have true foot drop (sometimes referred to as drop foot) then you might experience difficulty lifting the front part of your foot. You may even find that you drag this area of the foot as you move. This can be rather alarming (to say the least!), but if you think you have foot drop, our West Orange, NJ podiatrists are here to help determine the proper treatment option for you.
Symptoms of Foot Drop
If you are unable to raise the front part of your feet you may try to compensate by raising up your thigh when you walk (much as you would if you were climbing stairs). Most people only experience foot drop in one foot. If you find that your toes drag along the ground whenever you walk then it’s time to see one of our West Orange foot doctors for care.
Causes of Foot Drop
Usually foot drop comes from muscle weakness or paralysis. Common causes include nerve injury, muscle disorders like polio and central nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis.
Diagnosing Your Condition
A physical exam is often all that’s needed to diagnose foot drop. We will evaluate your walk and check leg muscles to determine if there is any weakness or paralysis. Sometimes imaging tests are also required if we believe that a tumor, cyst or overgrown bone in the spinal cord could be causing your foot drop.
Treating Foot Drop
When we diagnose you with the condition we will also determine the cause of your symptoms. If the underlying problem is one that is treatable you should see an improvement in your symptoms. Unfortunately, there are certain disorders responsible for foot drop that aren’t treatable. If this is the case, foot drop may be permanent.
Common treatment options include:
- Exercises and physical therapy
- Nerve stimulation
No matter what issues you are having the foot care experts at Foot Health Center LLC in West Orange, NJ are here to address all your concerns and help determine the best treatment options to keep your feet feeling their best.
Knowing the signs of a serious problem will help you seek professional treatment sooner.
If you rush through your next toenail trimming, don’t be surprised if you experience a painful little problem known as an ingrown toenail. They can develop rather quickly and are often due to trimming nails too short or rounding the edges. Tight shoes and stubbing your toe can also cause ingrown toenails to arise. Sometimes as the nail continues to grow, the ingrown toenail may go away on its own. Sometimes warm water soaks and wearing open-toed shoes can help speed the healing process along; however, there are times where infection sets in and it’s time to see podiatrists for treatment at Foot Health Center in West Orange, NJ right away.
When to Make an Appointment
If you notice any drainage, increased pain and swelling, and a fever, these are signs that an infection has developed in the nail. When this happens, you need to see your podiatrist immediately.
Also, if you haven’t noticed an improvement in your ingrown toenail symptoms after three days, it’s time to schedule a visit.
Those with diabetes, poor circulation, HIV or other chronic conditions that may impede the healing process should also see their podiatrist right away for proper care.
Your Podiatrist Visit in West Orange
The first thing we will do is examine your foot to properly diagnose whether you have an ingrown toenail or not. We will also discuss your medical history with you to see if you have any preexisting health conditions that could make this condition worse. Depending on the state of your ingrown toenail, we will make a decision about what course of treatment would be best for you.
Sometimes we will file down the nail to help change its shape as it grows out. If there is extra tissue around the inflamed skin, we may remove this tissue to decrease swelling and promote healing.
If you are concerned about an ingrown toenail, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. Call us at (973) 731-1266 in West Orange, NJ, if you notice any of the symptoms above, or any new symptoms. Don’t suffer with the pain and discomfort of an ingrown nail. We can effectively treat your condition and get you back up and walking around in no time!
Protect your feet from harm by following these helpful tips.
Having diabetes means that your body doesn’t properly make or use insulin, which makes it hard for your body to convert sugar and starches to energy. Because of this elevated blood sugar level you are predisposed to many other health complications. From the office of your West Orange, NJ podiatrists at Foot Health Center, here are some of your most popular foot health questions answered.
Q. Why do I need to worry about the health of my feet if I have diabetes?
A. It’s important to get your blood sugar levels under control if you want to prevent other health complications. Those with diabetes are more prone to heart, lung, kidney and foot problems. Even minor foot problems can worsen and cause serious complications in those with diabetes. Why? Because many people with diabetes have reduced blood flow to the feet, which makes it easier to develop infections, ulcers and other issues that can lead to amputation if not properly cared for right away.
Q. How can I prevent amputation?
A. One of the main reasons for amputation is an infected ulcer and the best way to prevent ulcers altogether is to maintain healthy sugar levels and to monitor these levels constantly. If glucose levels are not within the normal range this can cause nerve damage and poor circulation, which both attribute to foot sores. By keeping sugar levels in check you can prevent ulcers from happening.
Also, clean feet everyday and make sure to dry them thoroughly. By cleaning and examining your feet daily you can detect ulcers and see your foot doctor in West Orange for treatment.
Q. What are some warning signs that it’s time to see my West Orange foot doctor?
A. See us right away if you experience any of these issues:
- Skin color or temperature changes
- Cuts or scratches
- Fever or chills (signs of infection)
Q. How should I care for my feet?
Prevent complications from happening to you by following these rules:
- Always wash your feet every day with soap and water
- Dry feet thoroughly after washing to prevent fungal infections
- Use a moisturizer to keep skin hydrated
- Keep toenails trimmed properly (always trim the nail straight across and never curved)
- Always wear shoes and socks
- Make sure you wear shoes that fit properly
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes it’s important that you get the foot care you need so long-term issues don’t affect you. Turn to your West Orange foot experts at Foot Health Center today.
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