As National Foot Health Awareness Month kicks off this April, the Wound Care Center at HSHS St. Mary's Hospital aims to educate the public on common foot wounds and treatment. Right now, nearly 7 million Americans are living with a chronic wound, and more than 2 million of those are suffering from diabetic foot ulcers.
Many suffering from chronic wounds have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have delayed needed care during the past two years. For those suffering from wounds on their feet, many of these untreated and undertreated wounds have resulted in amputation, according to a study from the American Diabetes Association.
St. Mary's Wound Care Center treats chronic foot and leg wounds that are often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease.
The most common types of foot wounds are diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, arterial ulcers and pressure ulcers. The Wound Care Center specializes in treating these chronic wounds and non-responsive conditions.
There are preventative measures everyone can do to improve foot health. Medical providers at St. Mary's Wound Care Center offer the following foot care tips:
- Check your feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, sores or other injuries daily.
- Wash your feet every day and dry them with care, especially between the toes.
- Trim your toenails as needed after you’ve washed and dried your feet.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that do not rub or pinch your feet.
- Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes, and never walk barefoot or while wearing just socks.
- Physical activity can help increase circulation in your feet. Consult your health care team to see which physical activity is right for you.
- Take off your socks at your next check-up and alert your doctor to any problems with your feet. Regular foot inspections are key to prevention.
- Proper footwear, a healthy diet and maintaining healthy glucose levels can also help keep feet sore-free.
For more information on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic or infected wounds, contact St. Mary's Wound Care Center at 217-464-1020. A physician referral is not required.