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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA, 15301

Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

Diabetes describes a disease in which a person has high blood glucose levels due to the body not producing enough insulin or not producing it at all. The American Diabetes Association reports that in the United States, 25.8 million children and adults have this disease and an additional 79 million are pre-diabetic.

Foot problems are a serious risk for those who are diabetic and are in fact one of the leading causes for hospitalization among that group. More than 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes. Wounds, ulcers, infection and gangrene can lead to the amputation of a toe, foot or leg. Fortunately, diligent daily foot care, routine visits with a podiatrist and proper footwear often pave the way for early intervention when problems arise and allow for prompt treatment.

Why is foot care important with diabetes?

Two complications common with this disease are nerve damage, which is called neuropathy, and poor circulation. Neuropathy affects your ability to feel pain and sense heat and cold. The combination of these two problems can result in serious complications. Small problems or injuries can go unnoticed due to neuropathy and poor circulation can significantly slow the healing process.

There are often early warning signs when problems are starting to develop. If you are diabetic, it is important to implement a foot care routine that becomes second nature to you. This involves inspecting your feet on a daily basis and seeking care early when even the smallest of symptoms is noticed. This diligent care will help avoid serious foot complications and possible amputation. Some of the warning signs to be aware of include:

  • Dry cracks in the skin
  • Blisters or skin abrasions
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Fungal toenails
  • Numbness in feet and toes
  • Open sores that are slow to heal
  • Swelling of the foot or ankle
  • Pain in the legs
  • Changes in skin color
  • Bleeding from corns or calluses

If you are diabetic and notice any of these symptoms or sustain an injury, call Dr. Pinkser as soon as possible at (724) 225-7410.

Advice for taking care of your feet:

Active participation in your own foot care will benefit greatly when it comes to preventing injury and serious complications. Aside from monitoring your feet for the symptoms listed above, take the following into consideration as well:

  • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and water
  • Lotion is good to keep the skin on your feet moist but avoid putting any between your toes as this could increase your risk for a fungal infection.
  • Trim your toenails properly to avoid ingrown toenails. This involves trimming nails straight across, avoiding cutting the corners.
  • Keep your feet warm when you can and avoid getting them wet in the rain or snow.
  • With poor circulation already a possible complication, avoid smoking and sitting cross-legged as both decrease blood supply to your feet.
  • Wear clean, dry socks everyday and choose footwear wisely. Shoes should be comfortable and supportive. Avoid pointed toes and high heels and immediately change shoes if you feel discomfort or notice an injury forming such as a callus, corn or blister.
  • Call your podiatrist immediately if your foot becomes painful, red or swollen.

A podiatrist is an important member of the team providing care for someone with diabetes. If you live with this disease, allow Dr. Pinsker and his staff to help you stay on top of your foot health and prevent serious complications that could significantly impact your quality of life. For a routine evaluation or treatment, call our office in Washington, PA today at (724) 225-7410.