Simple foot problems like hammertoes, bunions, ingrown or fungal nails can become worse when peripheral artery disease (P.A.D) is present.
Because the legs and feet of someone with P.A.D. do not have normal circulation, this impedes the healing process and simple problems can become serious complications.
To complicate things further, having systemic disease like diabetes or rheumatois arthritis and P.A.D.is a double whammy! This combo increases the potential for foot problems exponentially! People with diabetes often have neuropathy, so they don’t feel pain when something happens to their foot. When neuropathy occurs in people with P.A.D., sores and ulcers can develop and may never heal! In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation is a chronic problem and the immune system is often impaired.
How to Avoid P.A.D. Complications
First things first…get regular lower extremity exams! This will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. And don’t forget to get immediate help if you notice a problem OR a change in your legs or feet.
Additionally, individuals with P.A.D. should:
- Wash your feet daily. Use warm water and a mild soap. Dry your feet thoroughly and gently, including between your toes.
- Keep the skin soft and supple with a thin coat of lotion that does not contain alcohol. 40 % urea is a great ingredient , although this is usually available only with a prescription or sold by physicians. Apply all over your feet, except between your toes!
- Trim toenails straight across and file the edges to a slightly rounded shape.
- Always wear shoes and socks. Never go barefoot, even indoors!
- Choose the right shoes and socks. Wear shoes and socks that fit well in order to avoid blisters. Wear seamless socks to avoid getting sores.
- Check your feet every day! This is critical. Check all over for sores, cuts, bruises, breaks in the skin, rashes, corns, calluses, blisters, red spots, swelling, ingrown toenails, toenail infections, or pain.
If you have peripheral artery disease, you must pay special attention to your feet and legs. Be vigilant and remember…take care of your feet and they will take care of you!
If you or a loved one are looking for a podiatrist in the Sarasota-Bradenton area or are experiencing heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, Dr. Goecker, or Dr. Sotelo for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
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