Your Feet and Diabetes
Looking after your feet.
People with diabetes who take good care of their feet and protect them from injury can significantly reduce the risk of developing foot ulcers. It is important to have your feet checked by a health care professional at least once a year. Should you develop a foot problem, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If left untreated, even the smallest foot ulcer can develop into serious problems.
Following the guidelines will help you to look after your feet:
- Wash your feet daily. Test the water temperature with you elbow to avoid scalding accidents.
- Dry- especially between toes. Cut and file toenails straight across if your diabetes team advise you it is appropriate for you to do so.
- Apply moisturise or petroleum based gel to your feet to keep your skin supple and to prevent cracking. However, avoid moisturising between the toes.
- It is ESSENTIAL to examine your feet daily for cuts, callus spots or small ulcers. The soles of your feet are best examined using a mirror.
- Breaks in the skin should be covered with a dry, sterile dressing. Do NOT burst blisters but seek help from your diabetes team.
- Remember diabetes can affect the rate of healing and breaks in the skin may take a little longer to heal. Older people are most at risk.
- NEVER use sharp instruments on your feet.
- Do not use corn plasters etc. as they contain acids. If any problems occur seek medical advice.
- Avoid direct heat and hot water bottles- loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature make these dangerous.
- Ensure shoes fit well - Have your feet measured in a reputable shoe shop.
- Remember shoes must fit your feet not vice versa. NEVER GO BAREFOOT
Remember to check inside your shoes and socks for sharp objects.