Foot Care for Diabetic Foot Infection
Foot infections are common in diabetes. This is due to reduced immunity and slow healing time. Diabetic foot infections need special management in order to avoid formation of gangrene and foot amputation.
What is Diabetic Foot Infection?
Diabetic foot infections are caused due to bacteria or fungi as a result of changes that occur because of diabetes. Minor cuts, cracks in the skin, hot and humid condition of the feet, and improper hygiene are major reasons for infections. If not treated properly, these infections:
- Causesecondary infections
- Spread to the bloodstream
- Cause decay of the tissue inside
- Lead to foot amputations
People with diabetic neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, joint diseases, and people who do not practice foot hygiene are prone to get diabetic foot infections.
Diabetic food infections are classified as mild, moderate, and severe. In mild infections, there is inflammation, pain, tenderness, and a feeling of warmth on the affected area. In the moderate stage, the infection has spread to the skin, and soft tissue. Cellulitis is a common diabetic foot infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria.
Is severe infections, there is high fever, fast heartbeat, severely high blood sugar levels, vomiting, and reduction of blood pressure. In this stage, the infection has already spread to the bloodstream and other parts of the body. This stage requires hospitalization and intensive treatment.
Foot Care for Diabetic Foot Infections
Foot infections in diabetes are generally treated with antibiotics, topical antibacterial and antifungal creams, wound care, dressing, and if necessary hospitalization. In cases where the infection has spread to the inner regions, surgical debridement is necessary. The goal of treatment is to treat the infection and prevent further damage. To achieve this, tight blood sugar control is mandatory.
How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Infections
- Maintain tight blood sugar control
- Reach target HbA1c levels
- Maintain foot hygiene with washing and cleaning
- Wear diabetes shoes that fit properly
- Wear diabetes socks that are absorbent
- Apply antifungal powder to the feet
- Examine feet daily for any skin changes, cuts, cracks, or exposed areas
- Control weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure
- Avoid smoking to limit worsening of diabetic neuropathy
- Get regular feet examinations with a podiatrist
- Visit a diabetes doctor for tight blood sugar level control