Foot Care For Diabetics

Words: Mukesh SHARMA 

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder. Statistics suggests that there may be 451 million individuals with diabetes worldwide, at this point in time, and approximately five million diabetes-related deaths.

Patients with diabetes are at increased risk for pedal ulceration, primarily because of microvascular, neuropathic, and biomechanical changes to the foot.

Neuropathic changes result in decreased pedal sensation; they make the diabetic foot prone to wounds from pressure, mechanical, or pressure injuries. Microvascular changes may result in reduced blood flow to the lower extremity with delayed healing of wounds.

Proper diabetic foot care is an indispensable part of limb preservation. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk for foot ulceration, secondary to neuropathy, microvascular disease, and biomechanical or anatomical changes, aside from the much-dreaded amputation.

The following activity provides a clear overview of performing a proper diabetic foot exam, while ascertaining anatomical and other changes of the diabetic foot — to pull the alarm bell and seek professional medical help without delay. Remember — preservation, or prevention, is always better than cure. Or, forewarned is forearmed.

  • Keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range
  • Check your feet every day
  • Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member for help to look for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling. If you notice any change, consult your doctor to avoid complications
  • Wash your feet every day
  • Dry your feet well; make sure to dry between the toe [Do not rub vigorously]
  • Keep the skin soft and smooth
  • Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the top and bottom of your feet, but not between your toes
  • If you can see and reach your toenail, trim them each week, or when needed
  • Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with emery paper, or nail file
  • Don’t remove corns, calluses on your own
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet
  • Feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside
  • Don’t test bath water with your feet
  • Bathe feet in lukewarm water; never hot water
  • Protect your feet from hot and cold
  • Wear shoes on the beach and on hot pavement
  • Wear socks at night if your feet ‘feel,’ or ‘get,’ cold
  • Don’t use hot water bottles, or heating pads
  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Don’t use tight socks
  • Put your feet up when sitting
  • Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes, 2-3 times a day
  • Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
  • Don’t smoke
  • Moderation holds the key. Always
  • Seek specialist help promptly.
MUKESH SHARMA, a specialist leather technologist, pioneer and innovator, has been working in the footwear/fashion industry for over four decades. He’s a travel enthusiast, who’s just as spiritually inclined. His mantra for life: ‘Living simply with minimal baggage.’ He lives in New Delhi, India.

2 thoughts on “Foot Care For Diabetics

  1. Dharmvir Kushwaha says:

    I am not diabetic, but I am now exposed to neuropathic changes in my feet. Thanks: ‘forewarned is forearmed.’

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