Diabetes and footcare
Good footcare is very important for diabetics, as foot-related complications are common for those who suffer from the condition. Foot ulcers for example, which affect as many as 10% of diabetics, can all too easily escalate from small blisters and wounds to a need for (no exaggeration!) amputation. Even small ulcers on the foot can represent a serious risk: they may heal extremely slowly and need sustained treatment to cure.
Why is foot care important?
If blood glucose levels are too high over a long period of time, the result can be a condition called diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage ) or loss of circulation in the hands and feet. If the nerves in the feet or legs are damaged, the feet can become numb, meaning that foot problems may not be noticed until they have become serious. It’s therefore essential to have regular foot examinations.
Top tips for healthy feet
- Have a quality foot check by a qualified person at least once a year.
- If you are at increased risk of foot problems, make sure you regularly see specialist podiatrist or other medically quailed practitioner for expert advice.
- Check your feet every day for signs of redness, hard skin or changes in shape.
- Always check for loss of feeling in your feet. You can ask a friend or relative to touch your toes to see if you register a sensation.
- Look after your toenails.
- Avoid using corn-removing plasters or blades as these can damage healthy skin.
- Use moisturising cream every day.
- Wear well-fitting shoes.
- Avoid garters and stockings, or socks with elastic tops, as they can restrict circulation.
- If you smoke, try to stop as smoking affects blood circulation and increases the risk of serious foot problems.
- Eat a healthy diet that promotes low cholesterol levels.
- If possible, take regular physical activity. A brisk walk each day can work wonders.
- Know who to call at the first sign of any new foot problem.