Diabetic Foot Care
Why do I need special Diabetic Foot Care?
If you have diabetes, you need to take special care of your feet. Even a small cut can put you at significant risk of serious complications like losing a toe, foot or leg. Being diabetic puts you at greater risk because:
You lose feeling in your feet – nerve damage takes away feeling in your feet and you may not notice a wound or injury. Small cuts can progress quickly into bigger problems.
Your circulation is affected – diabetes may reduce blood flow to the feet, which makes your skin and tissue weaker. This means even small wounds take longer to heal.
You are more susceptible to infection – high sugar levels in your blood make you more vulnerable to even small cuts or grazes becoming infected.
Your risk increases over time – the risk of wounds on your feet leading to amputation increases the longer you have diabetes.
What is involved in Diabetic Foot Care?
To avoid serious foot problems, you need to pay daily attention to your feet. To get in a good routine for proper diabetic foot care, try following these three steps:
Care for skin and nails
Wash your feet with mild soap and dry them gently (no rubbing)
Apply lotion to keep your skin moisturised (avoid dry or cracked skin)
Trim nails straight across (do not trim skin or cuticles) or see a podiatrist who will do this for you
Avoid extreme heat – no soaking in hot water or using hot water bottles or heating pads/blankets.
Check your feet daily
Check your feet every day as part of your daily routine.
Be sure to look in between your toes (where wounds may be hiding) and the balls of your feet (which are subject to a lot of pressure).
If you notice any cuts, scrapes, discoloured areas, callouses or corns – get them seen to immediately by your doctor.
If any part of your foot feels different in any way, let your doctor know.
Wear proper shoes
Wear comfortable shoes that don’t put any increased pressure on any bony areas.
See a podiatrist for help in choosing proper footwear.
Never walk barefoot anywhere, even around the home.
Where can Diabetic Foot Care be performed?
Daily care and attention at home is your first line of defence. As soon as you notice any problems with your feet – not matter how small the problem may seem – you should see your doctor for further examination and advice.
What are the risks of Diabetic Foot Care?
Diabetes is different for everyone but there’s a lot you can do to stay healthy with the disease. With proper foot care, you can avoid wounds, infections and serious complications like toe, foot or leg amputation.
Have More questions about Diabetic Foot Care?
If you have any questions about looking after your feet with diabetes, speak to the team at Vascular Associates.