Posts for tag: Diabetes

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
April 05, 2016
Tags: Diabetes   Bunions   Chilblains  

Although it may sound like a folksy term, early settlers would use this to describe some cold weather ailment. Chilblains actually refer to a real skin condition that occurs due to an abnormal reaction to cold and one that we treat at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Chilblains most commonly occur on the extremities of the body—those areas furthest from the heart and therefore the coldest—fingers, nose, ear lobes and, in your feet, the toes. People with circulation problems in their feet have an increased risk for chilblains.

Symptoms

Chilblains appear as small, swollen red spots on the skin, which are usually itchy and painful. The chilblains will swell and then dry up, creating cracks in the skin. If you have a bunion or other toe issue that is caused by excessive pressure or squeezing of the toes, that area is more susceptible to developing chilblains.

Are Chilblains Dangerous?

The biggest medical threat presented by chilblains is infection. The cuts and cracks in the skin create open sores and ulcers and provide an entry point for bacteria. Once an infection develops, the toe can become swollen, hot to the touch and there may be drainage of pus or fluid. This is particularly dangerous if you are a patient with diabetes because poor circulation and decreased immunity can result in an open wound that is difficult to heal. Diabetic patients should contact our Reading office immediately if you notice chilblains (or any sores or blisters on your feet or toes). Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will want to examine your feet and treat any sores as quickly as possible to head off the possibility of infection.

Treatment

Fortunately, the uncomfortable symptoms of itching and burning can usually be relieved with calamine lotion. If an ulcer has formed, the foot doctor may want to apply an antiseptic dressing to the wound. Wearing extra warm socks and limiting time outside when temperatures drop is recommended for patients that have developed chilblains in the past.

If you have a rash or blisters on your foot and you are unsure what the cause is, make an appointment at one of our Middlesex County offices by calling: (781) 944-4044. We’re here to address your concerns.

 Laura West of the Society of Shoe Fitters shares that there is a link between foot size and obesity. The Celtic foot, for example, is significantly broader than the rest of the United Kingdom’s feet. “Feet size is very much linked to obesity,” explains West, “and we see children wanting wider and wider footwear.” Matthew Fitzpatrick, Dean at the College of Podiatry, elaborates, “Increased weight puts more strain on the foot, especially so with the soft tissue of a child’s developing feet.”

Any additional problems in the feet of those with obesity can be detrimental to foot health. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Solutions 

Footwear – Specially made footwear that supports your joints, arches, and ankles, and allows room for good circulation is a great option to mitigate pressure and pain. A podiatrist will help you decide what works best for your specific needs.

Exercise – Exercise will help alleviate the pain and give your feet the strength it needs to support your body. Exercise also increases blood flow to your feet, allowing them to remain healthy and strong. 

Most importantly, seek the help of a podiatrist for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about obesity and the feet.

A research team at Stanford University School of Medicine recently discovered a potential new way to quickly heal foot ulcers in diabetic patients. Dr. Geoffrey Gurthner and his colleagues developed a new drug, administered through a patch on the skin that increases a protein in diabetic patients and can reduce blockages in the blood vessels in order to allow wounds from the ulcers to heal properly.

For diabetics, foot ulcers can result in more drastic problems than just foot pain such as infections or amputations. The researchers studied the patch on a human skin apparatus that eventually proved to heal the skin 14 days faster than planned and even improved the overall quality of the skin where the ulcer once appeared. Dr. Gurthner and his research team also hope that high quality healing effects of this patch will be able to prevent ulcers from re-occurring in patients.

Diabetes is a very serious condition that can result in amputation or worse if left untreated. If you are diabetic and have any concerns, visit one of our podiatrists of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can treat your diabetic feet.   

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people of all ages each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send the proper signals to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is imperative that the feet are well taken care of to avoid possible amputation of the feet.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

- Regularly check your feet for bruises or sores.
- Wear socks that fit your feet; socks shouldn’t be tight.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that are comfortable.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels as this test lets the physician know how well the blood sugar levels have been controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range (70-110mg/dl). It is advisable to visit a podiatrist if the diabetic patient is experiencing any conditions involving the feet.

For more information about Diabetic Foot Care, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care



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New England & Ankle Specialists

(781) 944-4044
30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876