People who have diabetes need specialized foot care to avoid damage from neuropathy, open wounds, and other serious problems. At Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle, experienced podiatrist Eric Roberts, DPM, FACFAS, AACFAOM, specializes in diabetic foot care to help you stay healthy and complication-free. Call the St. Petersburg, Florida, office or book your appointment online.
Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels and poor blood flow. As many as 50% of those with diabetes experience peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that affects your feet. In some cases, peripheral neuropathy can also affect your hands.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause a variety of symptoms in your feet, such as:
Some people with peripheral neuropathy say they feel like something is covering their feet. For example, they feel as if they’re wearing socks even while barefoot.
In addition to peripheral neuropathy, many diabetics experience peripheral vascular disease. This type of disease develops because of inadequate blood flow to your legs.
Without enough blood flowing to a cut, sore, scrape, or any kind of wound, you don't get the oxygen and nutrients needed for effective healing. This can slow recovery significantly, and slower recovery means you're at risk for infection.
Many diabetics also have a weakened immune system, which leaves you even less able to fight infections. Untreated infections can quickly turn into ulcers, which could eventually lead to tissue death (gangrene) or even amputation.
Because of peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, and weak immune system function, any type of foot problem can turn serious fast for those with diabetes. Even seemingly minor issues like ingrown toenails, calluses, corns, and blisters can become infected and lead to wounds that won’t heal. For all of these reasons, regular diabetic foot care at Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle is essential.
Dr. Roberts, the Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle podiatrist, is a diabetic foot care specialist with considerable experience in the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems related to the disease. He performs regular diabetic foot care exams to ensure you stay healthy and also gives customized advice for foot care at home.
If you develop foot problems, Dr. Roberts can immediately start a treatment protocol to help you heal. He regularly performs wound care, including wound dressing and tissue debridement (dead tissue removal) where needed.
Because diabetes complicates all foot issues, Dr. Roberts immediately treats all problems like ingrown toenails, hammertoe, bunions, corns, and calluses.
To help protect the vulnerable parts of your feet as you recover, Dr. Roberts may prescribe special diabetic shoes through the Dia-Foot program. Diabetic shoes have special accommodations for the foot changes typical of diabetes, which means improved comfort and control when you walk.
Schedule diabetic foot care at Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle by calling the office today or booking online.