If you have diabetes it’s important to remember the main facts of regular basic foot care. This short health education article below highlights those important points of looking after your feet.
Foot Care for Diabetics
Wash your feet daily in cool water, paying careful attention to cleaning between your toes. Use a basin to do this; its a particularly good method of thoroughly checking your feet for cuts, abrasions, swollen toes, discolorations or even something stuck on your feet. If you cant see the sole properly use a hand mirror or ask someone else to check for you. Unfortunately in some people with diabetes problems can go unnoticed due to reduction in sensation. To prevent injury to your feet please dont walk around barefoot, even at home. Change to clean socks/stockings daily. Therasocks a double layer sock and seamless socks are excellent products to help prevent blistering or potential friction ulcers If your skin is dry Callusan Forte is a superb and effective light mousse emollient containing Urea that can be used to soften dry areas, its a very useful product to treat or prevent cracking and fissuring in the skin. (Cracked skin has the potential to allow bacteria to enter the breaks setting up an infection). Plain un-medicated talcum powder can be used sparingly. Any itching, weeping fungal infection between toes should be dealt with speedily using Lamisil a spray or cream version is available. Please remember that good foot hygiene accompanied by examination is important and should always be completed daily.
Leather laceup shoes or even training shoes are recommended, they hold the feet firmly in place and prevent the foot from sliding forward. When buying new shoes ask for your feet to be measured each time, there may be some changes from your last visit to the shoe shop. Remember to check length, width and see that there is enough depth in the toe area. Protect the sole of your feet with a long lasting shock absorbing insole like PPT/Plastazote diabetic specification insoles.Remember awareness of heat and cold can also sometimes be diminished and circulation less efficient than a non-diabetic, so attention should be paid to avoiding overheated baths, sitting too close to a fire and keeping a hot water bottle in bed. Cutting instruments should never be used on corns or callouses by individuals with diabetes, importantly never use corn paints/plasters, many contain strong acids that are dangerous and could cause ulceration. Always seek the attention of the Podiatrist for further advice Cut your toenails as straight across as possible using quality nail clippers then carefully file any sharp edges to prevent damage to the neighbouring toes. If your vision is not good please see a Podiatrist. Any minor injuries that do not appear to respond to your own treatment should be shown immediately to your Podiatrist as even a mild infection can upset your diabetes. If you notice a change of colour, pain, throbbing, swelling or itching, in the foot, or a discharge coming from a break in the skin, from a corn or under a toe-nail consult your Podiatry Clinic or doctor immediately. Finally for peace of mind and your safety, its desirable that your Podiatrist should carry out a thorough assessment of your feet at least annually.