Diabetic Foot Care Advice Sheet

Diabetic Foot Care Advice Sheet
February 19, 2020

Diabetic foot care is a key factor in preventing many foot-related complications in diabetes! Diabetes can affect different parts of the body, including the feet, for several reasons, such as reduced skin moisture (dryness), reduced sensation (due to damage to the nerves), reduced wound healing and increased risk of infection (due to impaired immune system).

Foot complications often occur when there is nerve damage (neuropathy). This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may also cause problems.

Below, you will find general skin care recommendations for people with diabetes:

  1. Inspect your feet daily for any redness, swelling, blisters or cuts, especially if you are experiencing visual impairments, neuropathy, fungal nails or calluses and corns. . Make sure to check the bottom of your feet too! Use a mirror if needed, or ask someone to check for you!
  2. Wash feet daily and ensure to dry thoroughly between the toes. Between the toes are closed, dark and damp areas that are the perfect spots for fungi and bacteria to grow!
  3. Prevent or treat dry skin! Scratching dry or itchy skin can damage the skin and allow infection to set in. Apply a thin coat of lotion to your feet and lower legs, especially in the cooler and dryer months. We do not recommend applying cream between the toes. At Orangeville Foot Clinic, we offer a specially formulated intensive moisturizing balm called Type 2 Science. This balm is conveniently available in the clinic if you wish to purchase it for home use. We also have PodoExperrt foam, an excellent moisturizer for everyone who does not like thick and greasy lotions on their feet.
  4. Always wear protective footwear inside and outside the home; check your shoes before putting them on to ensure there are no objects inside the shoes that could irritate your foot. Wear seamless, elastic-free, cotton diabetic socks. Do not walk around barefoot! At Orangeville Foot Clinic, we have a variety of diabetic socks.
  5. Choose supportive footwear that can accommodate your feet’ specific needs, meaning the shoe is wide enough and has a deep enough toe box to accommodate any foot abnormalities, such as bunion or hammertoes.
  6. Do not soak your feet in hot water. Do not use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet, as you may burn your feet without realizing it- especially if you have neuropathy.
  7. If you can see and reach your toenails and feel comfortable cutting them yourself, ensure you file the edges with an emery board or nail file to remove any sharp edges.
  8. Treat cuts and scrapes immediately and wash minor cuts with soap and water. Use antiseptics such as Betadine and cover even minor cuts with sterile gauze. Skin cuts can be the entrance portal of bacteria.

Remember:
When diabetic, it is easier to prevent problems than treat them later. Seeing your chiropodist or foot care specialist regularly for preventative care is important. This way, skin, nails, and circulation changes will be monitored and addressed before any issues arise.

Maintain a balanced diet. Manage blood sugars and blood pressure. Consider keeping a log or a diary, which can be beneficial for reflection to note any patterns if certain meals or times of day
tend to spike sugars.

Our chiropody clinic will gladly help patients with diabetes with their feet concerns, including regular nail trimming.

If you want to know how diabetes can lead to ulceration (wound), click here: https://orangevillefootclinic.com/diabetes-and-foot/

To read more, click here: American Diabetes Association

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