Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes is prevalent in over 5% of the Scottish population. High levels of blood sugar over a long period of time can result in harm to the body and its functions. Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling known as peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes can cause changes in the sensations in the feet, trauma or injury to the foot may not be felt and can lead to more serious complications. The blood supply may also be restricted, this creates a delay in healing time to any injuries. You may not always feel pain in the feet due to the affects of diabetes, therefore checking your feet regularly is essential.
As part of your assessment your podiatrist will do a thorough medical history and assess how well your diabetes is managed. The assessments undertaken will provide your podiatrist with a better understanding of your foot health, they will be able to give specific advice for your foot needs.
Your podiatrist will advise you on a number of things that a person with diabetes can do to help prevent complications with their feet. These will include;
- Daily examinations for changes in the feet.
- Washing the feet daily and drying thoroughly but gently.
- Take care when bathing or showering as those with diabetes may not be able to distinguish changes in temperature.
- Take care when cutting toenails if eyesight, sensation or circulation is impaired.
- Corns and callus should be treated by a podiatrist due to risks of infection.
- Footwear should fit well, and shoes should be checked before wearing each time to ensure that there is nothing that could cause irritation to the foot, such as a stones.
Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Foot ulcers can occur in anyone however are more prevalent in patients with diabetes. When blood sugar levels are high or fluctuate regularly skin that would normally heal may not properly repair itself because of nerve damage. Therefore even a mild injury can start a foot ulcer.
Foot ulcers can be dangerous, they can lead to infection and ultimately amputation. By taking care of your feet and regularly attending your podiatrist we can limit the likelihood of ulceration. If you notice any changes in your feet contact your podiatrist today.
These can increase the likelihood of developing a foot ulcer: