Tag Archives: diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetic Skin Problems, Part 1

Introduction

Today we begin a discussion on diabetic skin problems.

Diabetic Skin Problems

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps the first thing I’d want you to know as a means of understanding what’s going on is this combination of facts: the skin is the body’s largest organ and diabetics have issues with blood flow. Given all the area needing blood flow, it stands to reason that diabetics invariably would have skin problems.

diabetes skin problems foot ulcers

Skin Problems Cause Infections – and Amputations

On a practical level, appreciate that infections are the most common cause of death in diabetics. Even a small cut or scratch in this population can lead to loss of a limb if unrecognized and left untreated. Unfortunately, amputations among diabetics  happens all too often. Is it preventable? With 100% confidence, yes. You can sufficiently reduce your risk of this ever happening. That said, there’s a reality that approximately 1/3 of all diabetes will have some type of skin problem, ranging from eczema and other localized itching problems to infections, abscesses, and gangrene.

diabetic skin problems toe amputation

How Diabetic Skin Problems Develop

By now you are likely wondering two things: How does this happen, and how can I prevent/help this?

First, diabetics suffer from frequent and excessive urination from those high blood glucose levels. This can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is dry, red and has a waxy appearance. It becomes cracked, itchy, easily injured, harder to heal and easier to infect. Remember how diabetics have problems with poor blood circulation? That reduces the bodies’ ability to fight infections. So the first course of action for diabetics (beyond understanding the risks) is to be diligent in preventing infection.

diabetic-amputation

I will dedicate a separate post to give you all the knowledge you need to prevent diabetic cuts, scratches and skin infections or to have them treated. In the meantime, the same rules apply to diabetics as they do to everyone else: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. Diet and exercise can stave off the day when you’re fighting for your life because of a diabetic foot ulcer.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

 

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Fifteen Tips to Care for Diabetic Skin, Part 2

diabetes-awareness

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the frailty of  diabetic skin and discussed how that sets one up for skin infections, abscesses, ulcers, amputations and even death. Your best defense from these set of illnesses and tragedies is knowledge, prevention and prompt action.  Here are some steps you can take to better care for the diabetic in your life. In the event you know a diabetic who appears healthy, I want you to pay special attention to him/her. Diabetes is a chronic and insidious disease. These changes occur over years, and your challenge is to slow the process down as long as possible.
If you have diabetes, these tips may help prevent skin damage and infections:
1. Do the best you can to control your blood glucose levels. The more out of control it is, the more damage it causes.
2. You must check your feet every single day for the rest of your life. Diabetics develop decreased sensitivity to their feet. It is extremely common to step on a sharp object and not realize that you’ve done so. A splinter or nail is an excellent medium for an infection.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables. Your skin needs all the nourishment it can get.

Diabeticskin

4. Develop better hygiene. Wash and dry your skin often and thoroughly; this will keep you less exposed to infections.

5. Make a point of keeping your groin, armpits and other areas prone to heavy sweat dry. Those moist areas in particular are most prone to becoming infected. Talcum powder is a good choice to use.
6. Stay hydrated. It’s an uphill battle with the frequent urination and high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Dehydration causes your skin to be more brittle and prone to infections.
7. Stay moisturized! Apply lotion early and often, especially after baths. Note those dry, cracked feet and get ahead of that happening if possible.

dmgangrene

8. Remember: if you’re diabetic, at some point your hands will retain sensation longer than your finger. It’s common to see scald injuries from stepping in water hot enough to burn you without you feeling it initially. Check the water with your hands before stepping into a tub.
9. Use a milder, less irritating soaps that includes moisturizer. Speaking of tubs, avoid bubble baths. Sorry.
10. Consider investing in a humidifier to prevent skin drying, especially in dry or cold climates.

Diabetic Foot

11. Always take any skin wounds seriously, especially those on your feet. Avoid placing alcohol on any of your wounds.
12. Invest in some sterile gauze. If you develop a scratch or other wound, control the wound with it after cleaning.
13. Limit your self-help to cleaning and gauze wrapping. Only place topical antibiotics or take antibiotics for a skin infection under your physician’s supervision.

diabetic-general-footcare

14. Always ask your physician to check your skin during an examination and ask him/her to teach you what to look for.
15. Immediately consult your physician or access the local emergency room if you have a burn, scratch, abscess (boil) or laceration that seems serious.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

diabetes-awareness

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps the first thing I’d want you to know as a means of understanding what’s going on is this combination of facts: the skin is the body’s largest organ and diabetics have issues with blood flow. Given all the area needing blood flow, it stands to reason that diabetics invariably would have skin problems.

diabetes_foot_problems_s12_ulcers

On a practical level, appreciate that infections are the most common cause of death in diabetics. Even a small cut or scratch in this population can lead to loss of a limb if unrecognized and left untreated. Unfortunately, amputations among diabetics  happens all too often. Is it preventable? With 100% confidence, yes. You can sufficiently reduce your risk of this ever happening. That said, there’s a reality that approximately 1/3 of all diabetes will have some type of skin problem, ranging from eczema and other localized itching problems to infections, abscesses, and gangrene.

diabetic toe amputation

By now you are likely wondering two things: How does this happen, and how can I prevent/help this?
First, diabetics suffer from frequent and excessive urination from those high blood glucose levels. This can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is dry, red and has a waxy appearance. It becomes cracked, itchy, easily injured, harder to heal and easier to infect. Remember how diabetics have problems with poor blood circulation? That reduces the bodies’ ability to fight infections. So the first course of action for diabetics (beyond understanding the risks) is to be diligent in preventing infection.

diabetic-amputation

I will dedicate a separate post to give you all the knowledge you need to prevent diabetic cuts, scratches and skin infections or to have them treated. In the meantime, the same rules apply to diabetics as they do to everyone else: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. Diet and exercise can stave off the day when you’re fighting for your life because of a diabetic foot ulcer.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Fifteen Tips to Care for Diabetic Skin

diabetes-awareness

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the frailty of  diabetic skin and discussed how that sets one up for skin infections, abscesses, ulcers, amputations and even death. Your best defense from these set of illnesses and tragedies is knowledge, prevention and prompt action.  Here are some steps you can take to better care for the diabetic in your life. In the event you know a diabetic who appears healthy, I want you to pay special attention to him/her. Diabetes is a chronic and insidious disease. These changes occur over years, and your challenge is to slow the process down as long as possible.
If you have diabetes, these tips may help prevent skin damage and infections:
1. Do the best you can to control your blood glucose levels. The more out of control it is, the more damage it causes.
2. You must check your feet every single day for the rest of your life. Diabetics develop decreased sensitivity to their feet. It is extremely common to step on a sharp object and not realize that you’ve done so. A splinter or nail is an excellent medium for an infection.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables. Your skin needs all the nourishment it can get.

Diabeticskin

4. Develop better hygiene. Wash and dry your skin often and thoroughly; this will keep you less exposed to infections.

5. Make a point of keeping your groin, armpits and other areas prone to heavy sweat dry. Those moist areas in particular are most prone to becoming infected. Talcum powder is a good choice to use.
6. Stay hydrated. It’s an uphill battle with the frequent urination and high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Dehydration causes your skin to be more brittle and prone to infections.
7. Stay moisturized! Apply lotion early and often, especially after baths. Note those dry, cracked feet and get ahead of that happening if possible.

dmgangrene

8. Remember: if you’re diabetic, at some point your hands will retain sensation longer than your finger. It’s common to see scald injuries from stepping in water hot enough to burn you without you feeling it initially. Check the water with your hands before stepping into a tub.
9. Use a milder, less irritating soaps that includes moisturizer. Speaking of tubs, avoid bubble baths. Sorry.
10. Consider investing in a humidifier to prevent skin drying, especially in dry or cold climates.

Diabetic Foot

11. Always take any skin wounds seriously, especially those on your feet. Avoid placing alcohol on any of your wounds.
12. Invest in some sterile gauze. If you develop a scratch or other wound, control the wound with it after cleaning.
13. Limit your self-help to cleaning and gauze wrapping. Only place topical antibiotics or take antibiotics for a skin infection under your physician’s supervision.

diabetic-general-footcare

14. Always ask your physician to check your skin during an examination and ask him/her to teach you what to look for.
15. Immediately consult your physician or access the local emergency room if you have a burn, scratch, abscess (boil) or laceration that seems serious.
Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant if you have any questions on this topic.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

diabetes-awareness

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps the first thing I’d want you to know as a means of understanding what’s going on is this combination of facts: the skin is the body’s largest organ and diabetics have issues with blood flow. Given all the area needing blood flow, it stands to reason that diabetics invariably would have skin problems.

diabetes_foot_problems_s12_ulcers

On a practical level, appreciate that infections are the most common cause of death in diabetics. Even a small cut or scratch in this population can lead to loss of a limb if unrecognized and left untreated. Unfortunately, amputations among diabetics  happens all too often. Is it preventable? With 100% confidence, yes. You can sufficiently reduce your risk of this ever happening. That said, there’s a reality that approximately 1/3 of all diabetes will have some type of skin problem, ranging from eczema and other localized itching problems to infections, abscesses, and gangrene.

diabetic toe amputation

By now you are likely wondering two things: How does this happen, and how can I prevent/help this?
First, diabetics suffer from frequent and excessive urination from those high blood glucose levels. This can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is dry, red and has a waxy appearance. It becomes cracked, itchy, easily injured, harder to heal and easier to infect. Remember how diabetics have problems with poor blood circulation? That reduces the bodies’ ability to fight infections. So the first course of action for diabetics (beyond understanding the risks) is to be diligent in preventing infection.

diabetic-amputation

I will dedicate a separate post to give you all the knowledge you need to prevent diabetic cuts, scratches and skin infections or to have them treated. In the meantime, the same rules apply to diabetics as they do to everyone else: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. Diet and exercise can stave off the day when you’re fighting for your life because of a diabetic foot ulcer.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.

Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA personal healthcare consultant any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC

Straight, No Chaser: Fifteen Tips to Care for Diabetic Skin

diabetes-awareness

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the frailty of  diabetic skin and discussed how that sets one up for skin infections, abscesses, ulcers, amputations and even death. Your best defense from these set of illnesses and tragedies is knowledge, prevention and prompt action.  Here are some steps you can take to better care for the diabetic in your life. In the event you know a diabetic who appears healthy, I want you to pay special attention to him/her. Diabetes is a chronic and insidious disease. These changes occur over years, and your challenge is to slow the process down as long as possible.
If you have diabetes, these tips may help prevent skin damage and infections:
1. Do the best you can to control your blood glucose levels. The more out of control it is, the more damage it causes.
2. You must check your feet every single day for the rest of your life. Diabetics develop decreased sensitivity to their feet. It is extremely common to step on a sharp object and not realize that you’ve done so. A splinter or nail is an excellent medium for an infection.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables. Your skin needs all the nourishment it can get.

Diabeticskin

4. Develop better hygiene. Wash and dry your skin often and thoroughly; this will keep you less exposed to infections.

5. Make a point of keeping your groin, armpits and other areas prone to heavy sweat dry. Those moist areas in particular are most prone to becoming infected. Talcum powder is a good choice to use.
6. Stay hydrated. It’s an uphill battle with the frequent urination and high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Dehydration causes your skin to be more brittle and prone to infections.
7. Stay moisturized! Apply lotion early and often, especially after baths. Note those dry, cracked feet and get ahead of that happening if possible.

dmgangrene

8. Remember: if you’re diabetic, at some point your hands will retain sensation longer than your finger. It’s common to see scald injuries from stepping in water hot enough to burn you without you feeling it initially. Check the water with your hands before stepping into a tub.
9. Use a milder, less irritating soaps that includes moisturizer. Speaking of tubs, avoid bubble baths. Sorry.
10. Consider investing in a humidifier to prevent skin drying, especially in dry or cold climates.

Diabetic Foot

11. Always take any skin wounds seriously, especially those on your feet. Avoid placing alcohol on any of your wounds.
12. Invest in some sterile gauze. If you develop a scratch or other wound, control the wound with it after cleaning.
13. Limit your self-help to cleaning and gauze wrapping. Only place topical antibiotics or take antibiotics for a skin infection under your physician’s supervision.

diabetic-general-footcare

14. Always ask your physician to check your skin during an examination and ask him/her to teach you what to look for.
15. Immediately consult your physician or access the local emergency room if you have a burn, scratch, abscess (boil) or laceration that seems serious.
Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant if you have any questions on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com(SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

diabetes-awareness

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps the first thing I’d want you to know as a means of understanding what’s going on is this combination of facts: the skin is the body’s largest organ and diabetics have issues with blood flow. Given all the area needing blood flow, it stands to reason that diabetics invariably would have skin problems.

diabetes_foot_problems_s12_ulcers

On a practical level, appreciate that infections are the most common cause of death in diabetics. Even a small cut or scratch in this population can lead to loss of a limb if unrecognized and left untreated. Unfortunately, amputations among diabetics  happens all too often. Is it preventable? With 100% confidence, yes. You can sufficiently reduce your risk of this ever happening. That said, there’s a reality that approximately 1/3 of all diabetes will have some type of skin problem, ranging from eczema and other localized itching problems to infections, abscesses, and gangrene.

diabetic toe amputation

By now you are likely wondering two things: How does this happen, and how can I prevent/help this?
First, diabetics suffer from frequent and excessive urination from those high blood glucose levels. This can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is dry, red and has a waxy appearance. It becomes cracked, itchy, easily injured, harder to heal and easier to infect. Remember how diabetics have problems with poor blood circulation? That reduces the bodies’ ability to fight infections. So the first course of action for diabetics (beyond understanding the risks) is to be diligent in preventing infection.

diabetic-amputation

I will dedicate a separate post to give you all the knowledge you need to prevent diabetic cuts, scratches and skin infections or to have them treated. In the meantime, the same rules apply to diabetics as they do to everyone else: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. Diet and exercise can stave off the day when you’re fighting for your life because of a diabetic foot ulcer.
Click here for an explanation of basic facts about diabetes.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.

Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Please use the posts over the next few weeks as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet. Once you finish this blog, you may want to review the past Straight, No Chaser post on the maintenance of healthy feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

heel-bone-spur

Bone Spurs Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.

Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

DM foot ulcer

Diabetic Wound Care We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.

Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

calcaneal fracture

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

HaglundsDeformity

Haglund’s Deformity 
If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 

Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.

Tendinitis 
We have previously discussed disruption to the Achilles tendon. Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to that disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

toes+athletes+foot

Athlete’s Foot 
This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when
preventative measures don’t control it.

cornscalluses

Corns and Calluses
 Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.

psoriasis

Psoriasis We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.

Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.

Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Planters Warts

Warts 
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails  We discussed 
ingrown toenails in Straight, No Chaser. They represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.

Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.

Feel free to ask your SMA personal healthcare consultant any questions you have on this topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

diabetes_foot_problems_s12_ulcers

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps the first thing I’d want you to know as a means of understanding what’s going on is this combination of facts: the skin is the body’s largest organ and diabetics have issues with blood flow. Given all the area needing blood flow, it stands to reason that diabetics invariably would have skin problems.
On a practical level, appreciate that infections are the most common cause of death in diabetics. Even a small cut or scratch in this population can lead to loss of a limb if unrecognized and left untreated. Unfortunately, amputations among diabetics  happens all too often. Is it preventable? With 100% confidence, yes. You can sufficiently reduce your risk of this ever happening. That said, there’s a reality that approximately 1/3 of all diabetes will have some type of skin problem, ranging from eczema and other localized itching problems to infections, abscesses, and gangrene.
By now you are likely wondering two things: How does this happen, and how can I prevent/help this?
First, diabetics suffer from frequent and excessive urination from those high blood glucose levels. This can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is dry, red and has a waxy appearance. It becomes cracked, itchy, easily injured, harder to heal and easier to infect. Remember how diabetics have problems with poor blood circulation? That reduces the bodies’ ability to fight infections. So the first course of action for diabetics (beyond understanding the risks) is to be diligent in preventing infection.
I will dedicate a separate post to give you all the knowledge you need to prevent diabetic cuts, scratches and skin infections or to have them treated. In the meantime, the same rules apply to diabetics as they do to everyone else: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. Diet and exercise can stave off the day when you’re fighting for your life because of a diabetic foot ulcer.
Click here for an explanation of basic facts about diabetes.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress