- Maureen Duffy B.A.Hons.,A.C.I.M.,U.K.
What can you do to help?
Foot complications are one of the most serious and costly complications of diabetes. However, through a care strategy that combines: prevention of foot ulcers by following the care tips below; attending the Podiatrist for regular (at least annual) Diabetic Foot Assessments; and specialised management with your Podiatrist for complications such as foot ulcers.
Preventative care is vital, and Chief Podiatrist Michelle Champlin advises diabetics to carry out the following steps to minimize the risk of complications:
1. Wash feet daily using lukewarm water and mild soap, drying thoroughly. Pay particular attention between the toes. Then dust feet lightly with talcum powder, being careful not to leave a residue between toes. If the skin is dry, use a good emollient to moisturize the skin.
2. Inspect your feet every day, using a mirror to see the soles if movement is limited. Look out for cuts, sores, bruises or changes to the nails.
3. Look after your feet by cutting toenails straight across, never into the corners. Finish by filing with an emery board to remove any sharp edges. Never try to remove corns and calluses yourself in case you damage the skin see a Podiatrist. Avoid walking barefoot in case you accidentally damage your feet wear slippers around the house. Do not use over-the-counter corn or verrucae cures, as these can cause damage to the skin.
4. Look after your general health lose weight if required, stop smoking and exercise regularly. See your Doctor beforehand for advice.
5. Wear good quality, well fitting shoes. Make sure your feet are measured, that there is plenty of room in the width and length so that your feet aren’t pinched or suffer friction. It is a myth that shoes need to be ‘broken in’ shoes should be comfortable from the outset.
6. See a Podiatrist, at least annually, for a Diabetic Foot Assessment.