Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin, or the cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced. This results in increased levels of glucose in the blood that cannot be absorbed by the cells of the body.
Daily diabetes foot care is important to ensure you avoid diabetes related foot complications and can be provided by your treating podiatrist.
Long Term Lower Limb Complications of Diabetes:
- Loss of protective sensation.
- Decreased blood supply to the feet.
- Increased risk of infection.
- Diabetic foot ulcers, amputations and gangrene.
Therefore if you have diabetes it is very important that you get your feet assessed by a podiatrist every 3 to 12 months, depending on your risk category and follow daily diabetes foot care advice.
Daily Diabetes Foot Care Check List:
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly, especially inbetween the toes.
- Apply foot cream to your feet avoiding inbetween your toes to keep skin soft and maintain its elastic properties.
- Check feet daily for any cut or breaks in the skin.
- Use betadine and a breathable dressing for any cuts or blisters on the feet and continue to redress until healed.
- Monitor for infection remembering you may not feel pain and seek medical treatment if there are any signs or concerns of infections.
- Make sure you check the temperature of the water with your elbow before putting your feet in to avoid burns.
- Do not soak feet for longer than 10 minutes. It will make the feet too soft and increase the risk of skin breaks.
- Make sure you have your shoes professionally fitted to avoid rubbing or blisters.
- Check shoes daily for any foreign objects before putting them on your feet.
- Do not walk barefoot, as these increases your risk of injury.
- Do not use any direct heat source on your feet, as you may burn your feet and not feel it. This includes hot water bottles, heat bags and heaters.
- Wear cotton or wool blend socks with loose tops to allow for circulation.
- Make sure you have any hard skin attended to by a podiatrist to prevent tissue breakdown.
- Do not attempt to cut your toenails yourself if your sensation or circulation is compromised, this should be done by a podiatrist.
Visit us at Proactive Podiatry for your next diabetes foot risk assessment. Our podiatrist will educate you on daily diabetes foot care to prevent diabetes related foot complications and advised on the sensation and circulation status in your feet.