How Diabetes can Affect your feet
Diabetes can affect your feet; even a small cut can produce problems. Diabetes may cause nerve damage or nerve cell death. That can take away the feeling in your feet.
Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection.
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Top Tips for Diabetic Foot Care
Avoid serious foot problems that could result in damage to your feet, follow these 10 simple steps:
- Take care of your Diabetes, maintain healthy blood glucose levels
- Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and soap
- Dry your feet well – especially between the toes
- Moisturise your feet to keep skin soft and supple but do not apply cream between the toes
- Check your feet daily for blisters, cuts or sores
- Keep your toenails at a reasonable length – don’t let them over-grow
- Wear clean, socks that aren’t too big or too small. Soft-top socks are best, as they won’t reduce circulation
- Keep your feet warm and dry with shoes that fit properly and are comfortable
- Never walk barefoot indoors or outdoors
- Examine your shoes for anything that might hurt your feet such as grit, other debris or worn uppers or insoles
Why Is Diabetic Foot Care Important?
Blood glucose levels over a long period of time can result in Diabetic Neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves, or loss of circulation in the extremities of the body. If the nerves in your legs or feet become damaged, you can lose sensation in your feet, or they will become numb.
A common and extremely serious problem for people with Diabetes is that they may not feel foot problems until they have developed. Therefore, it is really important that you have regular foot examinations to pick up on cuts, bruising, swelling, grazes, sores, changes in colour, hard skin (calluses) and ulceration.
• Foot ulcers – these are open wounds on the foot, where skin has started to break down and can be difficult to heal. Often they get infected!
• Charcot foot, where there is a deformity of the foot
• Foot amputation