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Diabetes is a lifelong condition which can cause foot problems.
Some of these problems can occur because the nerves and blood vessels supplying your feet are damaged.
This can affect: -
- the feeling in your feet (peripheral neuropathy); and
- the circulation in your feet (ischaemia).
These changes can be very gradual and you may not notice them. This is why it is essential you have
your feet screened every year.
Controlling your diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, and having your feet screened every year
by a suitably-trained
professional, will help to reduce the risk of developing problems with your feet.
If you smoke, you are strongly advised to stop.
Check your feet every day
You should check your feet every day for any blisters, breaks in the skin, pain or any signs of
infection such as swelling, heat or redness.
Wash your feet every day
You should wash your feet every day in warm water and with a mild soap. Rinse them thoroughly and
dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Do not soak your feet as this can damage your
Moisturise your feet every day
If your skin is dry, apply a moisturising cream every day, avoiding the areas between your toes.
Cut or file your toenails regularly, following the curve of the end of your toe. Use a nail file to
make sure that there are no sharp edges which could press into the next toe. Do not cut down the
sides of your nails as you may create a ‘spike’ of nail which could result in an ingrown toenail.
Socks, stockings and tights
You should change your socks, stocking or tights every day. They should not have bulky seams and
the tops should not be elasticated.
Avoid walking barefoot
If you walk barefoot you risk injuring your feet by stubbing your toes and standing on sharp
objects which can damage the skin.
Check your shoes
Check the bottom of your shoes before putting them on to make sure that nothing sharp such as a
pin, nail or glass has pierced the outer sole. Also, run your hand inside
each shoe to check that no small objects such as small stones have fallen in.
Badly fitting shoes
Badly fitting shoes are a common cause of irritation or damage to feet. The professional who
screened your feet may give you advice about the shoes you are wearing and about buying new shoes.
Minor cuts and blisters
If you check your feet and discover any breaks in the skin, minor cuts or blisters, you should
cover them with a sterile dressing and check them every day. Do not burst blisters. If the problems
do not heal within a few days, or
if you notice any signs of infection (swelling, heat, redness or pain), contact your podiatry
department or GP.
Over-the-counter corn remedies
Do not use over-the-counter corn remedies. They are not recommended for anyone with diabetes as
they can cause damage to the skin that can create problems.
If you discover any problems with your feet, contact your local podiatry department or
GP for advice.
How They Work
NEW Clinical Article.
Liqua Care in The Diabet Foot Journal.
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