PROPER FOOT CARE
Foot care is an especially
important part of care for people with diabetes. Some of the effects of
the disease increase the risk of foot problems and also increase the likelihood
But proper diabetic foot
care and attention can prevent most serious foot complications. On this
site we present the latest advice from the experts in diabetes and diabetic
foot problems. Never procrastinate! Contact a knowledgeable
physician at the first sign of a problem.
for Proper Foot Care
- Look for cuts or sores
for warning signs: redness, swelling, warmth, pain, slow healing,
cracks, bleeding corns or
loss of sensation
- Wash your feet daily
and dry them carefully, especially between the toes
- Use talcum powder
- Do not cut corns or calluses-
use a foot care specialist if needed
toenails trimmed and smooth
Promptly treat corns, calluses or athletic feet.
Keep blood glucose under control.
foot exam by your healthcare provider:
- Once a year for everyone,
every 3 - 6 months for people at high risk
- Take off shoes and
socks at every doctor visit
- Check for sensation
and foot pulses
- Ask for a risk evaluation
- Wear shoes and socks
at all times
- Don't wear shoes or
socks that are too tight
- Wear well-cushioned
- Buy shoes that are
roomy and "breathe"
- People with diagnosed
foot problems may need special footwear
care for high-risk conditions
If you do have any of the high-risk conditions, there are specific things
you should do to keep your feet healthy.
- If you have neuropathy
or evidence of increased pressure on the soles of your feet, wear
well-cushioned walking shoes or athletic shoes.
- If you have lost some
sensation in your feet, be sure to carefully inspect them often to
identify any problems early.
- If you have calluses,
have a foot care specialist treat them.
- If you have bony deformities
such as hammertoes or bunions, you may need extra-wide shoes or depth
shoes. In extreme cases, custom-molded footwear may be needed.
- Promptly treat minor
skin conditions such as dry skin or athlete's foot to keep them from
- Have a complete foot
examination every 3 to 6 months.
- Annual foot screening
to identify people who have lost protective sensation
- Patient education
in self-management, with emphasis on proper foot care
- Daily self-inspection
of the foot
- Appropriate footwear
- Management of simple
foot problems such as dry skin, nail and callus care, and basic wound
In a number of large clinical
centers where formal preventive care programs such as this have been implemented,
the rate of amputations has been reduced by as much as 85%.