Wounds – Extra diligence required through the summer

We have stressed the importance of foot care for everyone, but especially those living with diabetes.  There are many complications that occur with diabetes.  The most prominent are those associated with the small blood vessels to the eyes, kidneys and feet.  These small vessels are the first thing to malfunction due to chronically elevated blood sugar.  Hopefully you are one of those individuals who caught their diabetes early and have benefited from regular visit to Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists.  On these regular visits, your nerve function and blood flow are assessed as damage to these systems can lead to greater problems.

With long standing diabetes, the nerves begin to malfunction.  They may become numb or they may tingle, either sensation is indicative of neuropathy.  Any visit with Dr. Thomajan will stress the importance of inspecting your feet every day if you have neuropathy. Visual inspection is critical in order to identify scratches, cuts or other damage to your feet that you may not feel. Your Austin podiatrist has seen too many cases of wounds that become large or infected because someone couldn’t feel damage to their foot and went too long before looking at them.  A small splinter or scratch on the surface can cover up larger damage or infection below.  An infection that is not identified early can lead to more and more surrounding tissue damage.  If an infected wound goes untreated, the bacteria can spread throughout your foot, or leg. When this happens, amputation is often necessary to save an individual’s life.

Foot inspection is extremely important this summer.  With the thermostat topping the 100 degree mark this month, it is a prime environment for bacteria to overpopulate a wound and lead to widespread infection.  Increased pain, swelling, and red streaks in your foot or leg are red flags for an ER visit.  Identifying damage to you feet early and visiting a podiatrist is an easy way to avoid this from happening.  Your podiatrist will use a variety of techniques’ to clean the bacteria from your wound.  Once the bacteria is eliminated from the wound, special off loading shoes and wound care products can help you to heel as quickly as possible.

Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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