Ask the Expert: Tips for caring for your feet

By TMC HealthCare

It’s true: Wounds take longer to heal as we age. Right now, 6.7 million Americans are living with a chronic wound, and more than 2 million of those are suffering from a diabetic foot ulcer.

Heather Jankowski is a certified, family nurse practitioner and the director of outpatient services at Tucson Medical Center. She has extensive experience proving wound care for feet and shared tips for keeping feet healthy.

Are your feet at risk?

Some of the primary risk factors for wounds of the feet include: damage of the nerves or neuropathy, a deformity of the foot, history of foot ulceration, absent or diminished pulses and prior amputation.

What can I do?

Everyone can take certain preventive measures to improve foot health. Registered nurse Lourdes Leon offers the following 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.

• Keep the blood flowing. Wiggle your toes. Put your feet up when you’re sitting.

• Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes, and never walk barefoot. Closed-toed shoes are recommended to keep feet healthy.

• 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

Alert your health care provider to any problems with your feet. The TMC Wound Care Center treats chronic foot and leg wounds that are often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease.

Ask your provider if any of our comprehensive wound care and leading-edge treatments are right for you. Services include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies.

For more information on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers or chronic or infected wounds, contact the TMC Wound Care Center at 324-4220.