Learning How to Prevent Diabetes Foot Complications with Proper Foot Care

Learning How to Prevent Diabetes Foot Complications with Proper Foot Care

happy0feetUncontrolled diabetes is associated with many different complications. Foot problems are one of the most common concerns for patients with diabetes. Untreated foot problems can lead to severe complications such as non-healing wounds and ulcers and even amputation. Some of the most common reasons for foot problems in patients with diabetes are from reduced feeling (neuropathy) in the feet, poor blood flow (circulation), or change in the shape of the feet or toes.

There are several causes of foot problems to be concerned with. Neuropathy is not always painful. It can decrease your perception of pain and temperature and prevent you from feeling an injury on your foot which may allow it to worsen without your knowledge. Poor circulation may lead to cold feet and can diminish your ability to fight off a foot infection and heal properly. Skin changes may occur leading to dry skin. This makes your feet more prone to peel and crack. Calluses and ulcers may develop due to high or abnormal pressure of the foot. This can be caused by ill-fitting shoes.

In addition to good blood sugar control, there are steps you can take to help avoid foot problems. Inspecting your feet and proper foot hygiene are key steps to avoid complications.You should inspect your feet daily to look for cuts, swelling, red areas or any abnormalities. It is important to avoid walking bare foot. You should make sure there are no objects in your shoes prior to wearing them. There are shoes and socks designed specifically for people with diabetes to help control and prevent several foot problems. Diabetic shoes are often wider and deeper than regular shoes allowing for enough room to insert insoles. They can help reduce abnormal pressures, protect the foot from trauma, and encourage good blood circulation. Diabetic socks often differ in their design, material and function compared to regular socks. They are usually seamless in order to reduce the chance of developing blisters and calluses. They may be more comfortable and should help keep your feet dry. Other key steps include washing and drying your feet completely every day, making sure to include the area between the toes. Apply a thin coat of unscented moisturizing cream to your feet after washing and drying them to prevent dry skin and cracks. It is important to avoid applying any cream in between the toes because this increases the chance of a fungal infection. Trim your toenails regularly either on your own if capable or see a podiatrist. It is important not to have jagged or sharp toenails. Additional tips include wiggling toes and avoid smoking to help promote good blood flow to your feet.

Uncontrolled diabetes causes complications. Keeping your blood sugars at goal helps avoid these complications, including foot problems. You should also properly care for your feet. It should become a routine part of your diabetes management. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends a complete foot examination at least yearly by a health care provider and self-inspecting your feet regularly.This link to the ADA’s website includes additional tips for proper foot care in patients with diabetes: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html. If you have any problem seeing your feet, try a mirror or ask someone for help. Seeing a podiatrist at least once a year may help prevent foot complications. If you notice any changes in your feet reach out to your health care provider as soon as possible, even if it does not hurt.

This Article is Brought to You By:
Our DDP Guest Writer’s Staff,
Anna Bonfiglio, PharmD Candidate 2014, School of Pharmacy-Boston, MCPHS University
Jennifer Goldman-Levine, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, FCCP, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy-Boston, MCPHS University, Boston MA, Clinical Pharmacist, Well Life Medical, Salem, MA

No comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Global Translator

Featured Recent Comments