Foot Care is very important for those with Diabetes
Regular yearly foot checks for those who have had Diabetes for a long time or newly diagnosed is important in the prevention of complications such as ulcerations and amputations.
What’s the connection between diabetes and foot care?
If your blood sugar level is out of control, the nerves in your feet may be damaged. You may not notice a sore on your foot because you can’t feel it so it may become infected. At the same time, diabetes may cause a blockage in the artery that goes to your feet. Reduced blood supply means that your immune system can’t help heal the sore by sending white blood cells to the rescue. The result? An undetected sore or blister gets worse and becomes infected and even may cause a toe or foot to be amputated.
Foot care is critical for Individuals with Diabetes. If you or a family member has diabetes, be sure to do all you can to prevent foot problems from becoming serious.
Here are a few tips that are easy to add to your routine:
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly each day, then apply lotion – but not between the toes.
- Examine feet daily. Look for cuts, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails and cracked skin.
- Cut toenails straight across and don’t cut the cuticles.
- Always protect your feet – don’t go barefoot.
- Wear comfortable loose socks and keep them dry.
- Shoes should be sturdy, roomy in the toes and comfortable with no rough surfaces or seams inside, that with friction can cause abrasions leading to wounds.
Diabetic foot assessment
The main areas of focus of a Diabetic Foot Assessment are as follows:
Circulation-Adequate blood flow is vital to healthy feet and good wound healing.
Sensation-This assessment is all about determining that you have no loss of protective sensation in your feet.
Biomechanical- In relation to a diabetic foot assessment, this is all about identifying any unusual foot shape and abnormal or excessive lower limb posture or movement which can led to increased load to a joint and/ or skin, leading to deterioration or injury.
Nails- The appearance and condition of our nails can provide some valuable insight as to the state of our overall health.
Abnormalities can include;
Discoloration (white streaks, dark streaks)
Changes in nail shape (clubbing or curling)
Lifting of the nail
Redness and/or swelling around the nail
Pain around the nail
Skin- If it is broken or weakened in any way through being too dry or too wet, or being rubbed, or hit, we have the potential for an infection to make its way into our body.
Footwear - good fitting and appropriate footwear is imperative to good foot and lower limb health. It directly contributes to support, stability and protection of your feet.
Education- educating and empowering every client with information they need to take simple regular care of their feet and thereby prevent future complications.
Diabetic foot complications do not develop all of a sudden.
There are many warning signs over a period of time that if ignored or missed can lead to an urgent medical situation, potential having serious implications on your future health, mobility and enjoyment of life.