Treatment Services that Podiatrists Offer to Diabetic Patients With Foot Problems

14 October 2019
 Categories: , Blog

For people living with diabetes, maintaining good foot health is critical because the patients are 20 times more likely to develop foot complications and eventual amputation than non-diabetic patients. Therefore, it is not a good idea to ignore symptoms such as tingling sensations, numbness and stubborn blisters and sores. It is for this reason that people with diabetes need to see a podiatrist regularly to ensure the feet stay healthy. This article highlights treatment services that a podiatrist offers diabetic patients with foot complications. 

Nail and Skin Care -- Ingrown nails and fungal infections are arguably the most common foot problems that diabetic patients suffer from. Therefore, your trip to a podiatrist should include regular nail checks to ensure straight growth. If your nails naturally grow towards the inside of the toe, the podiatrist will use other measures to help stabilise the nail. For a fungus infection that is not advanced, podiatrists give topical medication to keep the infection under control. However, if the fungal infection is advanced, podiatrists recommend oral medication, which should be taken over several months. 

Wound Care -- Sores and ulcers are common among diabetic patients, and they can lead to painful and slow-healing wounds. When left unchecked, these types of wounds can prevent you from enjoying life. In some severe cases, your podiatrist might have to work with a wound doctor for specialised wound care. There are different treatments for stubborn wounds, depending on severity. For instance, a severe wound that is not getting any better will only respond to debridement of the necrotic skin to allow for the growth of new skin. On the other hand, compression therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are best suited for foot wounds that are not very severe but need a little help to heal faster. Most importantly, podiatrists understand diabetic patients are different, and so are the wounds. Therefore, the type of wound care treatment used is based on the podiatrist's diagnosis. 

Amputation -- When there is poor blood flow to the foot, it becomes necrotic, and you begin to lose sensations. If you ignore the numbing feeling, then the tissue on the affected foot will start to die gradually and will spread to other parts of the leg. When your podiatrist detects dead tissue, the only way to save the rest of the tissue is to amputate the affected region. For instance, if the dead tissue has not spread past the toes, then the affected toe that will be amputated. If it goes past the ankle, the amputation will be made from the knee. According to podiatrists, diabetic patients should do everything they can to prevent practices that lead to amputation.

Contact your local podiatry diabetes treatment services today to learn more.