Foot care for diabetics
If you have diabetes you are more likely to have foot problems. Diabetes can damage your nerves (See: Diabetic neuropathy). This, in turn, may make you less able to feel an injury or pressure on the skin of your foot. You may not notice a foot injury until severe damage or infection develops.
Diabetes changes your body's ability to fight infections. Damage to blood vessels because of diabetes results in less blood and oxygen getting to your feet. Because of this, small sores or breaks in the skin may become deeper skin ulcers. The affected limb may need to be amputated if these skin ulcers do not improve, get larger, or go deeper into the skin.
If you have diabetes, you should:
DAILY CARE ROUTINE
Check your feet and toes every day. Look carefully at the top, sides, soles, heels, and between the toes.
Wash your feet and toes every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Strong soaps may damage the skin.
Ask your health care provider if it is okay for you to trim your nails. If it is, ask your health care provider to show you the safest way. If your toenails are not trimmed correctly, you may get a foot sore or ulcer.
Avoid sitting with your legs crossed or standing in one position for long periods of time.
If you smoke, stop. It decreases blood flow to the feet.
TIPS ON SHOES AND SOCKS
Wear shoes at all times to protect your feet from injury. Otherwise, if you have poor vision and less ability to feel pain, you may not notice minor cuts or bumps.
The type of shoes you wear when you have diabetes is important:
Socks may provide an extra layer of protection between your shoe and your foot.
MORE HELPFUL TIPS
Report sores or other changes to your doctor immediately. Report all blisters, bruises, cuts, sores, or areas of redness.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 201. Diabetes Care. 201;34:S11-S61.
Inzuchhi SE and Sherwin RS. Type 1 diabetes mellitus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 247.
Inzuchhi SE and Sherwin RS. Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 248.
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