LUMBERTON — Caregivers at Southeastern Wound Healing Center suggest people take a moment to stand up for their feet.
April is National Foot Health Awareness Month. Right now, 6.7 million Americans are living with a chronic wound, and more than 2 million of those are suffering from a diabetic foot ulcer. Some of the primary risk factors for wounds of the feet are neuropathy, deformity of the foot, history of foot ulceration, absent or diminished pulses and prior amputation.
“Patients with diabetes mellitus are prone to have foot ulcers due to changes in the structure of their feet, including bones, blood vessels and nerves,” said Dr. Karl Moo Young, Healing Center medical director.
According to Moo Young, to prevent diabetic foot ulcers patients should:
— Check feet daily for calluses, blisters and ulcers.
— Check for foreign objects in their shoes.
— Always wear socks to keep feet dry.
— Wash feet daily, including between toes.
— Check for athletes foot, especially around moist areas around toes.
— Trim toenails to prevent ingrown nails or nail avulsions.
Patients should walk 75 percent of the distance they can achieve before their leg cramps to improve circulations. They should take off their socks at their next check-up, and alert the doctor to any problems with their feet.