I suffer from diabetes. How do I take care of the sore on my foot when I can’t go to the doctor?
You don’t have to give up foot care to stay “Safer at Home.” Bone & Joint’s providers are here to help.
Bone & Joint’s podiatrists and foot and ankle specialists can see you at the office or online through Bone & Joint’s new telehealth service. Just call the office and make your appointment. If you’re having trouble with your feet, don’t go to the emergency room or urgent care, you need to see someone who is skilled in wounds affecting your feet to get the condition under control as soon as possible.
Routine diabetic foot care is important, especially if you have an open sore.
If a health care provider has not seen your wound, schedule a telehealth appointment with a Bone & Joint foot and ankle specialist or a podiatrist.
What can I expect during a telehealth appointment?
In most cases, a provider can assess your condition by looking at your foot and asking questions.
If you have an ulcer on your foot, your provider may ask you to show how you are caring for the open sore. He or she may ask you to take off your shoes and socks to examine your feet.
To make the most of your appointment, be ready to answer the following questions.
- How long have you had a sore on your foot?
- Do you remember how you injured your foot?
- Is the skin around the wound warm?
- Does the area around your wound feel tender to the touch?
- Does your wound bleed or have yellow, white, or greenish-colored pus-like discharge?
- Does your wound smell?
- Have you had a fever or chills?
- How have your blood sugar levels been?
- Did you treat the wound? If so, what did you use?
If your condition is serious, your provider may ask you to come into the office for an in-person examination.
During your appointment, ask your doctor what changes you need to look for as your condition improves and what to do if it gets worse.
Practice at-home care for your foot health.
If you have a wound on your foot, clean the area, and cover the wound with the prescribed dressing.
Stay off your feet. Elevate them as much as you can to avoid putting pressure on the open wound.
If your health care provider prescribes medication, ask a family member to pick it up for you … or ask if the pharmacy has a delivery service.
There are some daily living habits you can follow to prevent foot injuries.
Wear well-fitting shoes in your house.
Shoes protect the bottoms of your feet. Slippers or house shoes may offer some protection, but shoes made for walking outside are best.
Inspect your feet every day.
Finding foot sores in their earliest stages is the best way to keep them from developing into a serious infection. Use a mirror to inspect the bottom and the sides of your feet.
Wash, dry, and moisturize your feet every day.
After you inspect your feet, wash and dry them thoroughly. Pay special attention to skin folds and the areas between the toes. These areas can stay moist and allow bacteria to grow.
Moisturize your feet with Aquaphor, Vaseline, or another type of lotion. Do not put lotion between your toes to reduce and prevent bacterial growth.
Keep your toenails short.
If you can safely clip your own nails, do so carefully, taking care not to injure the skin surrounding the toenail. If you cannot clip your nails, try using a black nail file to file them down. If you use the filing method, work it into your daily care plan, and file your nails regularly.
Remove callouses carefully.
If you have calloused skin on your feet, don’t cut it off or remove it with a razor. Use a pumice stone to remove the hardened layer and moisturize the area to restore soft, supple skin.
Watch for dark red spots under your calluses. Dark-colored splotches on the skin can be a sign of internal bleeding.
Even if you cannot walk, you can still exercise. Stretch your leg muscles. Lift weights. Ask your health care provider about seated exercises you can do to keep the rest of your body in shape and improve your circulation.
If your provider says it’s safe to walk, start slow and add a little distance to your walk every week.
Control your blood sugar.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is one of the best things you can do for your health and your feet.