As a diabetic, there are many tips and hints to help manage and prevent foot complications occurring due to decreased nerve and or vascular function.
When there is a loss of sensation due to neuropathy (nerve damage) simple injuries, like the ones listed below can easily occur and go unnoticed, leading to long-term complications:
- A simple cut or abrasion.
- A penetrating injury from stepping on a pin or tack.
- Burns to the soles of the feet from hot bitumen in summer.
Most of these injuries however can be avoided by wearing well-fitted footwear, and every podiatrist at (your clinic name) is trained in the latest footwear technology and knows exactly what makes a shoe great.
Shoes that are too small, tight, narrow or shallow need to be avoided.
When a person is at risk of diabetic complications, whether low or high, there are six other tips we usually recommend:
- Be careful when trimming or performing any kind of nail care. If possible, have a podiatrist do this for you to ensure no damage is done. Regular general foot care is key in prevention.
- Inspect your feet on a daily basis. If you are unable to see your feet easily, put a mirror against a wall and use the mirror to look at the soles of your feet. Be aware of any cuts, callouses, red areas, changes in colour, blister or other abnormalities. Have these inspected immediately.
- Wash your feet carefully each day, drying completely between all toes to prevent the skin from softening and breaking. Any portal for bacteria to gain access may result in infection if care is not taken.
- If you have corns and callous; DO NOT treat them yourself. Do not use over the counter corn or callous removal pads; these commonly have salicylic acid in them, which can break down healthy skin around the cord leading to ulceration. This is not something you want.
- Moisturise your feet daily. This will help stop your skin form cracking, especially around the heels. Apply lightly and avoid applying between your toes, as like water this will soften the skin.
- NEVER, EVER go barefoot if there are any signs of decreased sensation. Footwear, or even thongs must be worn to prevent injuries and provide a barrier between the ground and your feet.
When you have a diabetic foot assessment at Heal Focus Podiatry your podiatrist will go through all of the above general foot care tips in more detail and tailor it to your particular case.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment for your diabetic foot assessment, please telephone our clinic on 0401 828 001 and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.