Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetic foot ulcerations are the most common injury leading to amputation. It is estimated that 25% of all diabetics will develop an ulceration of the foot at some time in their life.
The damage to the feet due to diabetes occurs over time. Diabetes can damage the nerves to your feet causing numbness. It can cause poor circulation toe the feet. And can change the texture of your skin and shape of your foot.
The most important preventive measure is to have a comprehensive foot exam. The American Diabetes Association recommends having your feet examined at least annually.
What you can do at home:
- Check your feet when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed. You are looking for anything that doesn’t look normal. Cuts, redness swelling. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet use a mirror or have someone else look for you.
- Wash your feet daily. I do not recommend soaking your feet but if you must check the water temperature with a thermometer or rubbery ducky. Nerve damage my impair your ability to determine dangerous temperature.
- Dry your feet well especially between toes.
- Moisturize your feet daily. The skin of diabetics is often dry due to nerve damage. Do not put lotion between your toes. Keep the area between your toe clean and dry.
- Nail care. If you have normal nails and have no circulation problems cut them straight across. I usually tell patients to leave a little of the white line showing. Do not go for pedicures. If you cannot see or easily reach your feet, or have disease nails see your podiatrist regularly.
- Corns and callus should never be cut with a razor or removed by chemical pads. This could result in serious complications. Corns and calluses are due to increased friction and you may benefit from a diabetic shoe.
- Avoid walking barefoot to prevent injury.
- Proper shoe gear is essential to good foot health. Fit is very important in DM patient. If you have bunions and hammertoes or have circulation or nerve damage you may qualify for diabetic shoes thru your insurance carrier.
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