Our feet… They help us walk, support our body, and maintain our balance. Sometimes ignored and very often overlooked. Regardless of our health, our feet need our attention. But with diabetes, your feet need extra care in order to prevent a diabetic leg ulcer.
Fifteen percent of all diabetic patients will develop a diabetic leg ulcer; 6% of these will be hospitalized related to complications with these wounds. And an astonishing fourteen to twenty-four percent of these diabetic leg ulcers will require an amputation. With these unfortunate statistics, the best way to prevent them is to follow some simple but very effective recommendations for your daily foot care.
- Check your feet for any skin changes, leg sores, lesions or injuries. Most diabetic patients present with decreased pain, temperature, and touch sensations. If you have an injury on your feet, you might not feel it unless you see it.
- Wash your feet and make sure they are completely dry, especially between the toes.
- Moisturize your heels with a low ph lotion.
- Do not cut or shave any cracks, calluses or fissures.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. Make sure they are not rubbing against your skin.
- Always wear socks with your shoes, and never walk barefoot or while wearing just socks.
- Exercise and physical activity help improve your diabetes. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any program.
- Do not trim your toenails. Because of the loss of sensation on your feet, you may accidentally cut deeper than you should and develop some serious complications from this simple cut. Consult with a podiatrist.
- If you need to wear compression stockings to improve your circulation, schedule a consultation with a certified wound care or lymphedema specialist prior to getting them. This will ensure you have the proper garment to avoid any foot complications.