Foot care plays an important role in diabetes patient care as foot problems can lead to very serious complications.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage and impair blood circulation to the legs and feet, potentially resulting in foot injuries that are less likely to be felt by the patient. These injuries do not heal as well as in healthy people. Once they go untreated or unnoticed, it can lead to serious infections that can also produce very serious complications such as sepsis and even amputation.
How to take care of your feet:
- Wash your feet with mild soap and warm water.
- Carefully dry your feet, and do not forget to dry between the toes.
- Regularly check your feet for cuts, cracks, and blisters and for ingrown toe nails.
- If there are injuries, clean the area with mild soap and water and cover with a dry dressing.
- Trim your toe nails straight, clean and file the sharp edges. Make sure that you do not cut them very short.
- Apply lotion, but do not apply excess lotion as lotion between the toes can give excess moisture are provoke infection.
- Always wear clean socks and well fitted shoes that will cover your toes well.
It is always better to wear socks at night if your feet get cold. When sitting, always keep your feet elevated. Move your ankles and exercise your toes by wiggling regularly to improve blood circulation to the legs and feet. Watch your feet for any changes in color, warmth, and injuries.
Smoking cessation can improve circulation and healing of injuries, significantly reducing the risk of amputation.
Symptoms of nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) include sharp or shooting pain and burning and tingling sensations; a feeling of being pricked with pins, or numbness tends to appear in advanced stages of the disease. People who have impaired circulation (peripheral arterial disease- PAD) will have intermittent claudication, defined as pain, cramping in the calf muscles, thigh or buttocks that appears with walking and is relieved by rest. In severe cases, they will have pain at rest, tissue loss, or even tissue death (gangrene). PAD is the major risk factor for lower limb amputation in people with diabetes.
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