Importance of Foot Health During National Foot Health Awareness Month
April 14, 2023
During National Foot Health Awareness Month in April, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s Wound Care Center aims to educate the public on common foot wounds and treatment. Right now, nearly seven million Americans are living with a chronic wound, and more than two million of those are suffering from diabetic foot ulcers.
“Many people may not realize that they are suffering from a wound on their foot, particularly those who have diabetic neuropathy who may be losing some feeling in their extremities,” said Casandra (Cassie) Roy, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, for the center. “It is important that everyone inspect their feet regularly to ensure that wounds are caught early, when they are easier to treat. Our team of caregivers are trained in treating chronic wounds and non-responsive conditions.”
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.
Managed by Healogics, the nation’s leading provider of advanced wound care, St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center treats a variety of wound conditions including chronic foot and leg wounds that are often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease.
There are preventative measures everyone can do to improve foot health. Medical providers at St. Elizabeth’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.
St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center offers comprehensive wound care and leading-edge treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. The Wound Care Center was recently named a recipient of the Center of Distinction award by Healogics®, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services, for clinical excellence in patient satisfaction and wound healing rates. This is the third consecutive year that the center has achieved this recognition.
Even though a physician’s referral is not needed for an evaluation, St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center staff work closely with each patient’s physician or primary care provider to work as a cohesive team for the patient. “We send each evaluation to the patients’ physician to ensure proper communication within our health care team,” explained Wound Care Center Manager Jennifer Steiner, RN. Staff will also check individual insurance plan coverage prior to the appointment.
For more information on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic or infected wounds, contact St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center at 618-234-2120, ext. 32742 or for more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit steliz.org.
Manager, Marketing & Communications