Take care of your feet, and they'll take care of you and keep you moving and active. However, any number of circumstances and health conditions threaten your lower extremities, and diabetes ranks high on that list. Your podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates in Newark and Greenville, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville, and Boothwyn, PA, cater to the special needs of their diabetic patients. In a comfortable and friendly manner, this team of foot doctors help diabetics control ulcerations, circulation problems, and other hazards associated with their podiatric health. Read here about what diabetic foot care involves.
The dangers of diabetes
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta notes that more than nine percent of Americans suffer from diabetes. The varying blood sugar levels associated with diabetes lead to many health problems in the lower extremities. At Foot and Ankle Associates in Newark, Greenville, Kennett Square, Jennersville, Boothwyn, the podiatrists say that diabetics are prone to:
- Compromised circulation
- Infections and ulcerations (putting these patients at risk for amputation)
- Neuropathy, or nerve damage, causing symptoms of numbness, tingling, and pain
As such, your foot doctors agree with the advice of the American Diabetes Association: practice regular foot care at home and see your podiatrist for in-office examinations at regular intervals.
Caring for your feet
These self-care techniques are truly common sense. You already may be doing some of them at home.
Diabetic foot care includes:
- Washing your feet daily with soap and water and drying them thoroughly
- Inspecting your feet for signs of redness, cuts, abrasions, or areas of discoloration
- Cutting your toenails as needed with clean clippers, trimming straight across the tops to avoid ingrown toenails
- Wearing clean, dry socks every day and keeping your shoes on both indoors and outdoors
- Controlling blood sugars
- Eliminating cigarettes as tobacco compromises peripheral circulation
- Moisturizing your feet to avoid cracks, cuts, and infection
- Exercising to keep blood flowing
In the office, your podiatrist will inspect your feet for signs of wounds and infection. He or she also will check how you walk. As necessary, your foot doctor will trim your nails, remove any corns and calluses, and recommend special shoes, shoe padding, and customized orthotics to alleviate pressure points, improve gait, and relieve the pain of neuropathy.
Additionally, if you do develop a diabetic foot ulcer, the professional team is expert in state-of-the-art wound care, including innovative VAC (Vacuum Assisted Closure) which speeds healing of acute or chronic ulcers.
You can have healthy feet even if you are diabetic, and your friends at Foot and Ankle Associates will help you be at your best. If it's time for your routine check-up or if you're new to podiatric care, please call one of our five locations for an appointment in Newark and Greenville, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville, and Boothwyn, PA. We have convenient office hours to fit your busy schedule. We look forward to seeing you!
While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.
We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.
Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:
- Your child’s age
- The shoe’s material
- Your child’s shoe size
- The shoe’s structure
A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.
As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!
Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.
When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.
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How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
What your foot doctors in Newark, Greenville, Kennett Square, Jennersville, and Boothwyn want you to know
Spraining your ankle is easier than you think, especially as you get older. When you are young, tendons, muscles, and ligaments are more flexible, helping you withstand sudden movements without getting injured. As you age, your muscles weaken and your tendons and ligaments become stiff. If you experience sudden, unexpected movement, chances are good you will experience a sprain.
So, how do you know if you have sprained your ankle? Your podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates can help answer that question. They have several convenient office locations in Newark and Greenville, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville, and Boothwyn, PA to help you.
If you have sprained your ankle, you may experience these signs and symptoms:
- Severe pain around your ankle
- Ankle swelling and bruising
- Your ankle pops when you move around
- Your ankle moves abnormally when you put weight on it
- You feel ankle instability when you stand or try to walk
There are some simple therapies you can try to treat your ankle sprain at home, such as:
- Elevating your ankle for the first two days
- Keeping weight off of your ankle while it’s healing
- Icing your ankle for 20 minutes several times during the day
- Wrapping or taping your ankle to add support
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
If you don’t get relief from home therapies, it’s time to see your podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates. They will suggest helpful treatments like these:
- Wearing a walking cast or brace to immobilize your ankle
- Using crutches to help you walk or move around
- Physical therapy to increase flexibility and reduce swelling and stiffness
Ankle sprains are common in runners, soccer players, and tennis players, but you don’t have to be an athlete to experience an ankle sprain. Even a small trip-and-fall experience can result in a sprained ankle.
Don’t suffer needlessly when help is just a phone call away. If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, pick up the phone and call your podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates, with offices in Newark and Greenville, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville, and Boothwyn, PA. Call today!
Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but they can also be a source of pain and embarrassment. When the fissures in your heel become so dry and cracked that they bleed and hurt when you walk, it’s time to seek professional care from your podiatrist. Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that they lead to an infection.
Cracked heels are most commonly caused by splitting of the skin as a result of severe dryness or thickening of a callus on your heel. Severe cases of dry, cracked heels can occur for numerous reasons, including:
- Cold winter weather or dry climates
- Having diabetes
- Scrubbing feet too harshly
- Soaking in a hot bath or shower for too long or too frequently
- Not moisturizing the feet
- Increased weight
- Walking barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals or shoes
- Prolonged standing at work or home
- Chronic skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis
Here are a few tips for keeping heels from cracking:
- Moisturize your feet daily.
- Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes.
- Opt for mild soaps that won’t dry out your heels.
- Increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated.
- Limit time in the shower as hot water dries out the skin.
- Use a pumice stone or file as directed by your doctor to gently decrease thick calluses.
When to Visit Our Office
Cracked heels may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, but they can lead to pain and serious infection if not managed properly. Most cases of dry, cracked heels will get better with a little foot pampering or over-the-counter foot cream.
When your heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments have proven ineffective, visit our office. People with diabetes are at an especially high risk for health problems, and should not wait to have dry feet cared for. Severely cracked heels need moisture to avoid pain, bleeding and infection. A podiatrist can work with you to relieve your cracked heels, and get you back on your feet again.
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