Individuals who have diabetes are at a higher risk of infection and necrosis that can lead to amputation in the lower extremities (feet.) International Diabetes Federation was cited saying that people with diabetes may be as much as 25 times more likely to require amputation than those without the metabolic condition. The increased likelihood of infection is caused by a lack of sensitivity in the lower extremities from reduced blood flow and nerve damage. This makes it extremely difficult to be aware when something is wrong. Being able to recognize when something is wrong is critical when you require diabetic foot ulcer care. Here is a list of 5 tips that you can use to prevent any damage to occur.
- Check your feet daily – Keep an open eye to any cuts, cracks, blisters or other wounds. Using a mirror can be helpful if you can’t see the bottom of your feet.
- Keep your feet clean – Washing your feet everyday with mild soap and warm water goes a long way. Drying gently with a towel (even in between the toes!) and moisturizing with the addition of talcum powder reduces the risk of blistering.
- Choose the right shoes – When choosing footwear, what you need may not be what you want. Function over fashion. You want a shoe that is tight enough to keep the fabric from rubbing against the skin causing ulcers, but also loose enough to be comfortable. You don’t want your toes to be crowded either. A great option is orthopedic shoes that can be made custom to your foot shape and size; these can be obtained through a prescription from your podiatrist.
- Don’t smoke – Smoking reduces circulation, which can make your blood flow and sensitivity issues in your feet even worse.
- Regular Checkups – People who have diabetes should have a foot examination at least once per year. During these appointments, your doctor should look for circulation issues and nerve damage. These problems can lead to other bigger issues which can lead to amputation.
Thank you to Advanced Tissue, you can read more here.