Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to foot complications. As such, foot care is important in the managing of diabetes.
In this section you’ll learn what are some of the complications that may arise and tips to aid in good foot care practices.
Nerve damage (neuropathy)
It makes your foot feel numb and change its shape, increasing your risk of getting calluses and ulcers.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels damage nerves over time leading to decreased foot sensation and deformity, e.g., mid-foot collapse, toe deformities and extremely arched foot
Decreased foot sensation, deformity, and improper or inadequate footwear increase risk of calluses and ulcers (wounds).
Poor blood circulation (vasculopathy)
Extremely poor blood circulation (vasculopathy) can cause problems in your extremities (hands or feet) such as cell death, tissue damage or infections
Surgeries such as angioplasty (unblocking blood vessels), removal of damaged tissue or amputation may be required.
Good foot care practices
Monitor feet everyday
Watch out for:
- Blisters, wounds, corns and calluses
- Redness, swelling, bruise or increased warmth
- Toenail anomaly or change in foot shape
Maintain good foot care and hygiene
- Clean feet daily with mild soap and water
- Dry thoroughly between each toe
- Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove hard skin
- Remove hard skin
- Avoid cutting nails too short
- Cut them straight across and file corners
Moisture hard skin areas regularly
- Avoid using harsh soap
- Apply moisturiser daily but not between each toe
- Avoid scratching skin as it may lead to wound or bleeding
Wear well-fitting and covered footwear
- Wear well-fitted covered shoes with socks
- Home sandals are recommended
- Check and remove any stones or sharp objects inside shoes before wearing them
Apply simple first aid for small wound
- Clean small wound with saline before applying antiseptic and covering with a plaster
- Seek medical help if there is no improvement after two days or if there are signs of infection
Seek medical help if wound is not healing well or worsens
- If signs of infection are present, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, pus, fever, or the wound starts to smell, seek medical help as soon as possible