how to prevent diabetic foot ulcers

We are pleased to announce we are now using Arche Healthcare tools to prevent our diabetic patients from getting ulcers.

Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulcers

One of the most important things I do as a podiatrist is prevent my diabetic patients from getting ulcers. While for many years I had the technology to treat ulcers, I knew I could do better with prevention, if I only had the right tools.

Fortunately, we now have those tools at our office.

Since January 2022, we’ve been using the prevention system developed by Arche Healthcare to help our diabetic patients stay healthier.

pressure statWhat Is the Arche System?

While I’ve always had the ability to test my patients to determine their risk for ulcers, the Arche system allows patients to be more actively engaged in their own prevention. On top of that, Arche keeps track of when my patients had their exam and alerts me when they need it next.

One of the tools Arche provides is a Pressure Stat to use during a special exam for patients with diabetes called, a CDFE or Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam). Our medical assistant asks the patient to step down on special film which imprints areas of high pressure (see photo). The patient takes this film home so they can monitor these spots for skin changes and potential ulcers.

Other tests are also completed during the exam to help determine problems such as loss of sensation, decreased moisture, and reduced circulation.

After our medical assistant conducts the exam, I go over the results about a week later. Then I recommend products, further testing, or treatment to help keep patient's feet from developing problems.

Some of these products include:

  • Diabetic socks
  • Gel socks
  • Diabetic foot creams
  • NeuRemedy for neuropathy
  • MLS laser for neuropathy
  • Doppler testing
  • Referral to a vascular specialist.

What Else Can You Do To Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

While it's great to have these new tools and products, it's also important for the patient to be involved in self-care. This should include: 

  • Checking feet and toes to look for cuts, sores, bruises or and changes to toenails.
  • Wearing thick, soft socks without seams.
  • Daily exercise to manage weight and improve circulation. 
  • Buying shoes that fit properly - if you qualify you can obtain new shoes annually through your podiatrist's office.
  • Never go barefoot to avoid cuts and scrapes.
  • Don't remove calluses or corns at home as this can cause damage your feet.

 

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.