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Podiatry , Diabetes and Healthy Feet

We recommend you attend regularly if you have fungal nails, hard to cut nails, ingrown toenails and corns, or callus.

Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, successful management requires a team approach. The podiatrist, as an integral part of the treatment team, has documented success in the prevention of amputations. The key to amputation prevention in diabetic patients is early recognition and regular foot screenings, at least annually, from a HPC registered podiatrist.

In addition to these checkups, there are warning signs that you should be aware of, so you may identify them and bring it to the attention of the GP or podiatrist.  They include:

 

·         Skin colour changes

·         Elevation in skin temperature

·         Swelling of the foot or ankle

·         Pain in the legs

·         Open sores on the feet that are                    slow to heal

·         Ingrown and fungal toenails

·         Bleeding corns and calluses

·         Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

 

 

Caring for feet with Diabetes: A simple guide

Wash feet daily.

Using mild soap and lukewarm water wash your feet in the mornings or before bed each evening.  Dry carefully with a soft towel, especially between the toes, and dust your feet with talcum powder to wick away moisture.  If the skin is dry, use a good moisturising cream daily but avoid getting it between the toes. We recommend Simply Feet foot cream, available at the clinic.

Inspect feet and toes daily.

Check your feet every day for cuts, bruises, sores or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discolouration. If age or other factors hamper self-inspection, ask someone to help you, or use a mirror.

Lose weight.

People with diabetes are commonly overweight, which nearly doubles the risk of complications.

Wear thick, soft socks.

Socks made of an acrylic blend are well suited but avoid mended socks or those with seams, which could rub to cause blisters or other skin injuries.

Stop smoking.

Tobacco can contribute to circulatory problems, which can be especially troublesome in patients with diabetes.

Exercise.

As a means to keep weight down and improve circulation, walking is one of the best all-around exercises for the diabetic patient. Walking is also an excellent conditioner for your feet. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.

Regular check-ups by your podiatrist

- at least annually. The best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.

New shoes should be comfortable at the time they’re purchased and should not require a "break-in" period, though it’s a good idea to wear them for short periods of time at first. Shoes should have leather or canvas uppers, fit both the length and width of the foot, leave room for toes to wiggle freely, and be cushioned and sturdy. We recommend Hotter shoes or trainers.  Check shoes regularly for signs of wear inside and out. Replace when linings become worn

Don’t go barefoot.

Not even in your own home. Barefoot walking outside is particularly dangerous because of the possibility of cuts, falls, and infection.  When at home, wear slippers.  Never go barefoot.

Don’t wear high heels, sandals, and shoes with pointed toes.

These types of footwear can put undue pressure on parts of the foot and contribute to bone and joint disorders, as well as diabetic ulcers. In addition, open-toed shoes and sandals with straps between the first two toes should also be avoided.

Don’t drink in excess.

Alcohol can contribute to neuropathology (nerve damage) which is one of the consequences of diabetes. Drinking can speed up the damage associated with the disease, deaden more nerves, and increase the possibility of overlooking a seemingly minor cut or injury.

Don’t wear anything that is too tight around the legs.

Tights , pop socks, , thigh-highs can constrict circulation to your legs and feet, as can men’s dress socks if the elastic is too tight. Avoid socks with thick seems that can cause irritation.

Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself.

Over-the-counter preparations that remove warts or corns should be avoided because they can burn the skin and cause irreplaceable damage to the foot. Never try to cut calluses with a razor blade or any other instrument because the risk of cutting yourself is too high, and such wounds can often lead to more serious ulcers and lacerations. SEEK HELP! Book your appointment today.