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The Run Down:
Diabetic Footcare

Diabetics typically experience nerve damage, called peripheral neuropathy, which reduces the sensation in their feet. Injuries often occur without the patient knowing it and may be come infected due to weakened resistance. Poor circulation impairs the healing process and is another common denominator of this disease, affecting blood flow in the legs and feet. Foot infection is the most common reason for hospitalization of people with diabetes and foot ulcers and non-healing wounds are the primary causes of

“Injuries often occur without the patient
knowing it and may be come infected due to
weakened resistance. ”

amputation in people with diabetes. With proper foot care, however, it is estimated that as many as half of these amputations could be prevented.

Conditions Include:

Charcot Foot A progressive degenerative condition that affects the joints in the feet. Typically associated with nerve damage that decreases the ability to sense stimuli, including pain and decreased muscular movement. As a result, the joints in the feet are subjected to repeated trauma and injury, causing progressive damage to the ligaments, cartilage and bones.

Corns and Calluses A thickening of the skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot.

Dry Skin Can become cracked, allowing germs to enter.

Foot Deformities Bunions, hammertoes and metatarsal disorders may increase the risk of ulcers and other foot related problems as the foot continuously rubs
against the shoe.

Ingrown Toenails Occurs when an edge of the nail grows into the skin, which then gets red and infected. Also may occur by cutting into the corners of the toenail when trimming. This condition may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight.

Neuropathy Nerve damage which includes tingling, pain, itching, burning, crawling and pins and needles. Can also loss of feeling or complete numbness, reducing the ability to feel pain or discomfort in the feet. Ulcers, infections and even deformities may occur.

Proper Foot Care:

  • Consult a podiatrist first: regarding treatment of calluses, corns, foot deformities, dry skin, ingrown toenails and conditions of the foot. Speak with a healthcare provider and do not attempt to treat these conditions.
  • Daily activity: walking and or swimming are gentle on the feet. Wear supportive foot wear while exercising. Do not exercise when experiencing diabetic foot ulcers.
  • Dry skin: soften skin by applying cream, lotion or petroleum jelly to the tops, bottom and heels of the feet. Do not apply in between the toes as this could
    lead to infection.
  • Inspect feet regularly: examine the feet for blisters, cuts, sores and swelling daily, especially between toes.
  • Non-restrictive shoes: wear diabetic shoes at all times. Shoes should maintain cushioned sole and wide toe to help prevent foot problems. Inspect shoes for pebbles, sand or other skin irritants before putting them on.
  • Trim toenails: toenails should be clipped each week or as necessary. Do not cut corners; trim straight across smoothing rough edges.
  • Wash feet daily: wash, do not soak, feet in warm water. When bathing, test hot water with elbow rather than foot. Diabetic feet have decreased sensitivity to eat which increases the risk of serious foot burns. Completely dry the feet, especially in between toes.
  • Wear socks or stockings: to avoid blisters from shoes wear socks specifically designed for the diabetic foot. If foot perspires easily change socks at least twice daily to maintain proper airflow. Do not walk barefoot on surfaces, especially hot pavement. To avoid frost bite check feet in cold weather.

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