Diabetic Foot Care: Those that suffer from Diabetes often develop more serious foot problems compared to a healthy individual.
The Diabetic Foot – The Risk of Ulcers
Foot related complications can consist of ulcers, blisters and small wounds. These pose a serious threat and can lead to amputation. – This affects 1 out of 10 people with diabetes. Even the small ulcers can represent a risk, as they tend to heal slowly, need constant checking and treatment to cure them,
Ulcers can also develop into serious lower body infections, with the possibility of amputation at an advanced stage.
The Diabetic Foot – Circulation
Diabetes can also lead to a restricted blood supply in the feet and legs, this can affect the ability and speed of healing time if there is an injury to the foot. The feet will suffer from poor circulation, they may appear cold with a weak pulse. A Chiropodist can advise on a number of treatments to avoid complications to the feet.
• Examining the feet for cuts, swelling or discolouration. A Diabetic person must check daily.
• Feet must be washed daily and dried thoroughly but gently.
• Be careful with hot water or objects that can lead to burning of the feet. Due to reduced sensation, burns from hot water for example may not be felt.
• Care when cutting toenails – if eyesight, sensation or circulation is impaired it is advisable that a Podiatrist cuts toenails.
• Corns and callus should be treated professionally.
• Footwear should fit well, and shoes should be checked before wearing each time to see that there is nothing that could cause irritation to the foot such as a stone.
• Stopping smoking can be helpful as circulation is worsened in smokers.
It is important for a Podiatrist to monitor any deterioration in the nerves of the feet or circulation. This allows the patient to take the necessary precautions to help avoid any complications.