If you have diabetes, then we are sure you are aware that it is important that you look after your feet. It is important because diabetes can reduce the blood flow and blood supply to your feet and cause a number of conditions. One of the most common conditions for people with diabetes to get is called Peripheral Neuropathy.
Diabetes affects the small nerve fibres in your feet which provide sensation. When this happens you lose the feeling in your feet; Peripheral Neuropathy. Because you are not able to feel your feet as well you can even be unaware of having an injury. Injuries to your feet do not heal very well and you can also be more likely to get an infection. Diabetes leads to 169 amputations a week. That’s 24 amputations a day and 1 amputation every hour. Looking afer your feet and following the below foot care tips can prevent this.
Foot care tips for people with diabetes
- Keep your feet clean; this will help reduce the risk of infections
- File or cut your toenails regularly – cut straight across (never down the sides)
- Get treatment for corns or hard skin
- Wear shoes that fit well, ill-fitting shoes can cause problems
- Do not walk barefoot; this will help reduce the likeliness of catching an infection or standing on something that you are not aware of
- Check for infection, cuts, redness and swelling regularly
When you should see a doctor
If you notice something like a blister or another injury, then you should seek treatment either from your GP or your podiatrist right away.
You also seek treatment quickly if:
- there is swelling or redness around an ulcer; this is a sign of infection
- if you notice any breaks in the skin of your foot or a discharge seeping from a wound
- if you notice any swelling in your foot around a blister or another area of injury
- if part or all of your foot changes colour and becomes; pale, dark, blue or red
- if your foot or ankle starts to change shape or swell (edema)
If you haven’t already, it’s critical that you stop smoking if you have diabetes. Smoking is known to double complication risk. Smoking itself impairs the blood circulation in your body, and so a combination of diabetes and smoking can severely worsen any problems in your feet.