Why Diabetic Foot Care is So Important This Winter

Diabetic foot care is important at any time of year, but winter brings with it threats decreased circulation and numbness. Because November is Diabetes Awareness Month, today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is spreading awareness by sharing some information regarding diabetic foot care in winter.

Winter cold, moisture, and dryness elevate the risk of diabetic foot issues. About 15 to 20 percent of diabetics seek treatment at a hospital because of an infection or foot ulcer, which leads to amputation in some cases.

These tips can help you care for your diabetic feet this winter:

Daily examination
  • Examine all the pressure points on your feet and in between your toes. Keep an eye out for discharge, changes in color or odor, painful corns or calluses, or breaks in the skin.
Make moisturizing a must
  • Poor circulation and nerve damage from diabetes can affect the moisturizing glands of your feet. Dry winter heat can worsen the dryness, so moisturize daily.
Proper footwear is key.
  • If you are diabetic, winter cold combined with diminished circulation can elevate your risk for developing a foot ulcer. Ensure that your winter footwear provides warmth, protection from the elements, and sufficient padding. Diabetic footwear is a great choice.
Free your feet from moisture.
  • Icy puddles or snow can lead to hazardously damp feet that can invite unwanted bacteria. When your feet get wet, dry them completely, including between your toes, and change out of your wet socks and shoes.
Trim your toenails with care.
  • Infected toenails or untrimmed toenails frequently cause ulcers and infections. Trim them correctly, which is straight across and not too short. If you have difficulty trimming them, get professional help from your podiatrist.
Don’t turn up the heat on your feet.
  • Always be careful when using hot soaks, heating pads, or electric blankets. And always check the water temperature before you stick your feet in.
Control your glucose levels.
  • Regulating your blood sugar is an important part of diabetic foot care. Your feet are one of the first places poor diabetic control appears.  Work with your doctor to control your blood sugar.

If you are living with diabetes and haven’t seen a podiatrist in some time, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

It’s Time to Get Your Feet Ready For Fall

Fall has officially begun and now is the time to get your feet back into the fall-season shoes we love. Summer weather can be especially rough on the feet, especially for those who love playing and working in sandals, flip-flops or no shoes at all. For some, this behavior can leave the feet feeling and looking dry and cracked. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some tips to get your feet back in shape and ready for fall.

Here are a few tips to get rid of the dry, cracked skin and get your feet ready for the fall season. 

  1. Give them a good rub down with lotion. A lot of dry skin can amass over the spring and summer months and massaging your feet with lotion will help moisturize them to get rid of that reptile look.
  2. Women should take a break from polishing their nails. Quite understandably, bare summer feet look attractive when they are well-groomed. But polishing your toenails too much can be unhealthy as it can cause the nails to deteriorate. You could also choose lighter shades of polish, but never pass up a good pedicure.
  3. Exfoliate your feet at least once a week with a foot file or pumice stone. When doing so, make sure you only address areas of dry skin as wet skin is more difficult to exfoliate. Cracks in the skin typically open wider when water weakens the skin tissue.
  4. There is nothing as soothing as a foot bath and warm foot soak. Soaking your feet not only helps to reduce stress – it might even help you feel and look younger over time. A foot massage offers the same wonderful effect.

One of the most important things you can do following your foot care routine is to choose the right fall boots or shoes. Women should not forget that their shoes do not have to be flats – a thicker heel can also work well. Just remember that support matters.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your feet, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

It’s Fungal Disease Awareness Week: Common Infections of the Foot

No matter how clean you keep your feet, they are constantly in contact with microorganisms that can cause infection. Bacteria and fungus are the most common offenders. Because this is Fungal disease Awareness Week, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the most common foot infections.

Fungal Foot Infections: These are familiar to many of us who may have picked up a toenail or foot infection in a spa or locker room. The foot, particularly between the toes, provides the perfect environment for infection. All it takes for the infection to develop is for the foot to come in contact with a contaminated surface.

Athlete’s Foot: When itchiness, flaking, and a rash develops between the toes, it is most often related to a common condition known as athlete’s foot. The fungus thrives in moist, warm environments such as saunas and gyms and can flourish in sweaty shoes and socks. It is very contagious and can be easily spread through contaminated towels, clothing, or floors.

Toenail Fungus: This fungal infection typically slowly grows underneath the toenail. Its symptoms include a yellowish or white discoloration, and the flaking and thickening of the nail, which separates from the nail bed. It often accompanies athlete’s foot and is more common in people with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial Foot Infections: While somewhat less common than a fungal infection, a bacterial foot infection can sometimes become serious, and develop from a local infection to a systemic one. Most are established through abrasions or breaks in the skin, often as a result of a penetrating wound.

Foot Abscess: Bacterial foot infections sometimes consolidate into a pocket of pus known as an abscess. This is most often caused by a puncture wound or the infection of a hair follicle.

Cellulitis: This is a potentially serious skin condition in which a local bacterial infection spreads from the site of the initial wound. It typically starts as a small area of inflammation that quickly spreads to surrounding tissues.

If you’re dealing with one of these or any other foot issues, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.