Caring for the Diabetic Foot
Diabetes and the Foot?
Diabetes can cause nerve damage resulting in problems due to the lack of sensation in the feet. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation which can prevent the healing of a sore or infection.
People with diabetes should be given a full foot examination every year by a chiropodist and other health professional. It is important that any problems are detected as soon as possible.
The Importance of Foot Care.
Feet are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, yet most people tend to neglect them. For the majority, this is not too serious but for the diabetic it can have dire consequences.
People who have had diabetes for a long time often have damage to the nerves and blood supply of their feet.
The symptoms of nerve damage include numbness, loss of feeling, burning sensations or pain. Effects of impaired blood supply include pain at rest, especially at night, pain in the calf whilst walking, and feet that feel cold to touch.
Foot ulcers are common in diabetics with loss of sensation and poor circulation. An ulcer is where an area of skin has broken down and you can see the underlying tissue.
Prevention and detection of these symptoms can be diagnosed by a diabetic health foot assessment so -
Book your Diabetic Health Foot Assessment Today
Personal Hygiene - Wash your feet daily with mild soap. Use a soft towel and dry your skin especially between the toes, which is where germs such as Athlete's foot can easily breed. If your skin is dry, sparingly apply a good quaility non-medicated moisturising cream.
Skin - Get into the habit of examining your feet daily for any cuts, cracks abrasions, corns or hard skin, any of which can lead to infection or a foot ulcer.
Corns and Callouses - these are thickening of the skin, caused by pressure and rubbing from footwear.
Toenails - Toenails should be cut to the shape of the end of the toes and no shorter. Never cut down the sides unless the chiropodist has advised this.
Footwear - Shoes that fit well can help prevent many foot problems.
Choose Footwear with - Soft leather, wide toe box, soft insoles.
Hosiery - Can be just as damaging as poor footwear, so avoid stocking, tights or socks that are too tight as they may restrict the circulation, but also avoid hosiery that is too loose as this can wrinkle and irrate the skin.