Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetic Foot Care - First Line of Defense!

US Navy 100811-N-8361C-002 Dr. Dawn Bell expla...
US Navy - Dr. Dawn Bell explains the importance of proper foot care to a group of diabetic children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know that as a patient, being the only one attached to your feet, you play a vital role in your own foot care? As Fall is here, there are a few additional concerns that you need to be aware of. As the seasons change, you need focus on the needs of your feet and become aware of what could potentially become a big problem.

Some patients with diabetes have two strikes against them right off the get go - nerve damage a.k.a. Neuropathy and poor circulation. Neuropathy takes away your ability to feel and may therefore make detecting injury more difficult. If circulation is reduced, your body’s ability to heal is reduced. Both of these situations combine to pose a big risk to your health.

So what is your role?
As champion umpire of your own feet, you need to know what’s going on at all times. You represent the first line of defense. The best way to accomplish this is to conduct daily foot exams. However, if this is too difficult for you, get someone to help or use a mirror. Look for:
  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Corns
  • Nail problems
  • Pressure points
  • Puncture wounds
  • Cracked skin
Any of the above mentioned concerns, if gone unaddressed or untreated, can result in serious complications and could possibly lead to loss of foot or life.

With the approaching cooler weather, you should be more mindful of keeping your feet appropriately warm and dry. Warmth is good, but you should avoid direct heat sources such as stoves or radiators. You could accidentally burn your feet and not realize it.

Make sure you check your shoes before you put them on for objects or irritants that could cause injury. Make sure your shoes provide protection from the elements such as cold and rain, and wear socks that are synthetic to wick perspiration and keep feet as dry as possible.

As the colder weather approaches, skin tends to dry out. After bathing, apply an emollient rich lotion to your feet, but avoid between the toes.

Dr. Boucher can help you in so many ways. She has access to the latest technology for healing the most stubborn wounds, and is a genius at preventing small problems from becoming catastrophes. Call Dr. Boucher at (203) 238-3668 to schedule your regular foot check-ups and to report injuries. She will work with you and other health care providers to ensure your foot health and safety. Using proper foot care and treatment is the best kind of preventive medicine and will help ensure that your feet will last a lifetime.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Sock It to Me

Eight girls wearing toe socks
Eight girls wearing toe socks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Socks are a vital part of foot health and safety. If you look for a great pair of socks and expect a quick find, think again. You will have to consider what activity you are participating in, then select socks that meet all the criteria necessary for a pleasant experience. Outdoors can be tough on your feet, so let’s walk that walk first.

There are 250 thousand sweat glands on your feet. All operate at peak performance meaning your socks better be up to a lot of moisture wicking capability or else you will drown in your shoes. Well, probably not, but you will need to choose a sock that is either merino wool or synthetic, or a combination of both. This will allow you with the moisture wicking properties necessary to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.

Socks will need to fit your foot because if they are too long they will bunch in the toes causing discomfort, and if they are too short they will slide down into your shoe. If you’re hiking you will have to get socks that come just above your boot tops, which will prevent abrasion from boot tops. Socks can be manufactured with extra padding or cushioning at the heel and ball of foot. This increases the density of the stitches PSI or you can weave in tough, long wearing material like acrylic. Make sure socks, with all their extra cushioning, fit into your shoes or boots without feeling tight.

As a review, please remember that a great pair of general purpose outdoorsy type socks will include:
  • Keep your feet dry. Dry feet will prevent blisters and provide comfort in a variety of situations. Your best fabric selections are merino wool, synthetic or a combination. Avoid the old cotton tube socks because they absorb sweat, are quick to saturate, and slow to dry.
  • Have protection for your feet. Provide a little cushioning so your feet do not feel the impact of running and hiking.
  • You need a perfect fit. Fit your feet properly with socks. If your socks are, too long or too short, a foot injury is likely to result.
You probably don’t think of socks in the “high tech” sense, but advancements in fabrics and design allow the creation of an entire line of specialized socks. Such socks include liner socks, waterproof socks, heated socks and toe socks. Toe socks are like a glove for your foot. When designed with seamless construction, they prevent blisters from occurring between the toes. They may not be ideal for all pursuits, but try them for running and hiking. You can learn more about specialized socks at your local sporting goods retailer.

Before you get off on the great adventure, make sure your feet are in shape. Call Dr. Boucher at (203) 238-3668 and address any outstanding foot concerns with her.


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