Diabetic Feet: The Risks and How to Avoid Them

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. This disease is also the leading cause of amputations of feet, legs, and toes. Today, our podiatrist Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists outlines some of the risks associated with this disease and some tips for diabetic foot care.

Top 4 Risks for Patients With Diabetic Feet

As a person with diabetes, your feet face distinctive risks. Understanding them is the best way to avoid the common foot problems that come with this disease. Here are some of the most common foot health risks that people with diabetes have to cope with.

  1. Peripheral Arterial Disease: This disease reduces circulation and limits the amount of blood flow that reaches your feet, sometimes causing serious side effects.
  2. Infections: Blisters and abrasions are more dangerous for people with diabetes because blood flow to the feet is restricted so cuts cannot heal properly.
  3. Neuropathy: When your nerves do not function correctly, neuropathy occurs. This is particularly dangerous because if a patient cannot feel blisters or abrasions, they are at a higher risk of infection.
  4. Charcot Foot: This condition causes your foot to change its shape and is usually caused by fragile bones that break and collapse.

Daily Tips to Care For Your Diabetic Foot

With proper daily care, you can reduce the risk of having a foot ulcer or infection. Following are some tips to help maintain your healthy feet every day.

  • Make it a habit of inspecting your feet each day for cuts, sores or red spots.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, paying particular attention to the area between your toes.
  • Wear socks around the house to keep your feet warm.
  • Exercise – it’s the best way to encourage blood flow to your feet.
  • Do not cut your toenails around the corners to avoid getting an ingrown toenail; instead, cut them straight across.
  • Improve blood circulation by quitting unhealthy habits such as smoking or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods.

If you notice any changes in your feet, it’s essential to visit your podiatrist right away to reduce the chance for infection or a more serious foot problem. Call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule an appointment online.

Athlete’s Foot: 12 Myths and Facts

Smothered inside socks and shoes all day, feet can become sweaty, stinky, and the perfect carriers for all sorts of germs that can cause a red, itchy condition called athlete’s foot. Today our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing what you need to know about this contagious condition.

Read on to learn more about these common myths

Myth 1: Only athletes can get athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot earned its name because the fungus that causes it typically hangs out in places that athletes frequent, like locker rooms and showers, not because it’s limited to athletes.

Myth 2: Athlete’s foot is different from jock itch. While jock itch and athlete’s foot are caused by the same fungus, the conditions are named by the part of the body where they occur.

Myth 3: Athlete’s foot can be prevented by regularly showering. Showering alone won’t clear up the fungus that causes athlete’s foot but keeping them clean and dry can help prevent this fungus from coming back.

Myth 4: Only people with poor hygiene habits get athlete’s foot. You can wash your feet several times a day with soap and water and still get athlete’s foot. This is especially true if you don’t dry your feet fully after each washing.

Myth 5: You can only get athlete’s foot if you walk barefoot in areas where the fungus is living. You can get it if you share socks, shoes or towels with someone who has athlete’s foot.

Myth 6: With athlete’s foot, there’s always peeling between the toes. This condition can look different in each person. Some people experience cracking or peeling skin between their toes while others suffer from dryness or redness on the bottom of their feet.

Myth 7: Athlete’s foot only affects the feet. Athlete’s foot can extend to other places if you scratch the area and then touch other parts of your body or through contaminated sheets or clothing.

Myth 8: If you wear shoes and socks all day you can’t get athlete’s foot.  Wet socks and shoes are the perfect environments for this fungus. Your feet are safe, as long as you keep them dry.

Myth 9: Athlete’s foot will heal on its own. Without treatment, your feet we become even itchier and result in a more serious infection. Antifungal creams and pills are the best treatment options.

Myth 10: You can stop treatment as soon as your symptoms are gone. To stop athlete’s foot from returning, continue using the medicine for as long as recommended.

Myth 11: Once you treat athlete’s foot, it won’t return. Even after treatment, athlete’s foot can return if you neglect to take steps to prevent its return.

Myth 12: You can’t get athlete’s foot if you wear cotton socks. The opposite is true. Synthetic fiber socks are the best option due to their better absorption of moisture.

Wondering if your itchy feet are being caused by athlete’s foot? Don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today to schedule a consultation to determine if your condition is being caused by athlete’s foot and to discuss options for treatment.