Diabetic Foot Care

Foot care is of great importance amongst diabetics since foot complications tend to be more common among those with diabetes. For example, foot ulcers, which are estimated to affect up 10 percent of people that have diabetes, can develop easily from small wounds and blisters posing a serious amputation threat.

Ulcers on the foot, no matter how small, can pose a serious risk; they may heal too slowly and require rigorous treatment to cure. Ulcers can develop into serious infections affecting the lower body, with amputation being a real possibility especially at an advanced stage.

Foot Care

Caring for the feet shouldn’t be difficult as a diabetic and should be an important consideration. The following section outlines complications that can affect a diabetic foot as well as some information and methods of care.

Why Is It Important to Care for Your Feet?

The presence of elevated blood glucose levels over an extended period of time can result in a condition referred to as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) or loss of circulation in the body’s extremities.

If nerves in the legs or feet become damaged, your feet may lose sensation thus becoming numb. It’s actually rather common for people with diabetes to not experience foot problems until they develop, which is why regular foot examinations are so important.

Diabetic foot complications include:

  • Charcot Foot: Foot Deformation
  • Foot Ulcers: Open Wounds on Foot
  • Amputation

How to Care for Your Feet

Caring for the feet involves reducing damage from occurring to the feet and checking your feet regularly for any signs of damage.

Still, it is possible to reduce damage to the feet by keeping the feet clean and in proper condition, wearing correctly fitting diabetic shoes, and not walking barefoot. Regularly check your feet for any signs of damage.

Checking Your Feet

It is important to regularly examine your feet for signs of damage. This is particularly important if you are suffering from numbness and poor circulation. If you are having trouble checking your own feet, you might have to ask somebody to help you check them.

Watch out for any of the following signs of foot damage:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Hard Skin
  • Ulceration
  • Color Changes
  • Sores
  • Grazes
  • Cuts

Note: You should also be aware of any cracking from dry skin since this may develop into an ulcer over time.

Foot Examinations by a Doctor

You need to receive a regular check-up from a health professional at least once every year. If you have signs of poor blood circulation and/or neuropathy, you may need to have a foot examination more regularly.

During the foot examination, your feet will be checked for:

  • Any signs of damage
  • Blood circulation
  • Signs of neuropathy or development of neuropathy

Diabetes Management

Keeping your diabetes under control with an appropriate treatment regimen, healthy lifestyle and diet, and regular exercise cycling and on foot will help reduce the chances of developing foot complications

Products for the Diabetic Foot

Specific products for the diabetic foot are made by several companies. Calluses need to be regularly removed by a podiatrist or other specialist. The wound needs to be cleaned and dressed, protected by the gauze bandage but still allowed to breathe.

In more severe cases, you may be required to wear an orthowedge, which is a special type of shoe designed to alleviate pressure on the front of the foot.