Diabetic Foot Care
Why is foot care important?
What is good foot care?
Circulation in the legs of diabetics is often impaired, and the skin is more prone to bacterial and fungal infections as the presence of glucose in sweat provides an ideal environment for germs to grow.
In a diabetic, even minor wounds of the feet take longer to heal and require more care. If there is nerve damage, you may not notice any wounds or 'breaks' in the skin as there will be no pain. Cuts abrasions and wounds are prone to infections. They must be treated immediately and carefully.
- Never walk barefoot - indoors or outdoors
- Use clean socks or stocking that absorb sweat. Cotton is better than synthetic as it allows feet to breathe and stay dry.
- Ensure footwear is not too tight so as to restrict circulation.
- Shoes should be chosen with care.
- Look and feel inside for rough surface before putting them on.
Wash feet properly
- Look for breaks, cuts, scratches, blisters, sores, discoloration
- Your feet should feel warm throughout and not have hot spots, swelling or tenderness.
- Seek medical advice if injury does not show signs of healing in 2-3 days. Do not try to treat them yourself without medical guidance.
- Do not use corn caps or wart removers.
- Use a mild soap
- Do not soak for more than 5 minutes
- Pay special attention to the skin between your toes. Dry them properly with a soft towel
- Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to keep your skin supple.
Good preventive foot care should save the leg from amputation
Diabetics are 30 to 40 times more likely to undergo amputation of limb. Take care of your foot. Discuss about foot care with your doctor.
The American Diabetes Association recommends yearly comprehensive foot examination to identify risk factors predictive of ulcer and amputation.