Diabetic foot care for diabetes patient**All information has been taken from internet, website, and a general doctor's advice. The treatment will be depending on the condition of the diabetic patient, this is only for those who would like to get the basic foot care advices and self-treatment. We are not responsible for the negative related-issues or consequences of any treatment as this article is meant for sharing purposes.
Diabetes foot care
It's especially important to look after your feet if you have diabetes. Here's how to take care of your feet and advice on when to get professional help Diabetes can limit the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling. This can mean foot injuries do not heal well, and the lack of feeling means you may not notice if your foot is sore or injured. If you have diabetes, you’re 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated due to gangrene.
“The risk of complications can be greatly reduced if you're able to bring your blood sugar levels under control,” says foot specialist Mike O’Neill.
“Ensure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and controlled with medication if needed. Smoking is also not a good idea as it has a harmful effect on the blood supply to your feet.”
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions, and unfortunately, up to one-third of the population is completely unaware they are affected. Often a diabetic complication, such as a diabetes foot problem, can become one of the first indicators of the illness.
Most experts agree monitoring blood glucose levels to prevent complications associated with diabetes is the most important step in treating the illness. In addition to monitoring blood sugar, taking care of your feet is a critical piece of overall good diabetes health care.
The bones and joints of the feet have a crucial job in evenly supporting your body. Blood circulation carries important food and oxygen to the bones and tissues of the foot. Over time, the increased blood sugar levels caused by diabetes affect the blood vessels and nerves in the feet – and lead to diabetes foot problems.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Feet?
Diabetes foot problems can be caused two ways:
Due to an abnormal increase in blood sugar found in the body, the foot can experience decreased sensitivity, resulting in nerve damage. This condition is called Diabetic Neuropathy.
A condition called Diabetic Vasculopathy, or hardening of the blood vessels, is another common diabetes foot problem. This condition results in the narrowing of blood vessels which reduces blood flow in the foot. Poor blood circulation in Diabetic Vasculopathy is often indicated by cold feet that appear blue or pale.
In addition, the skin and fatty tissue surrounding the foot and toes is an important barrier that prevents infections from entering the rest of the body. Since diabetes also makes your feet more susceptible to infections, it’s important to maintain proper everyday care of your feet.
Hygiene and Diabetic Foot Creams Are Key to Avoiding Diabetes Foot Problems
As the saying goes, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” This certainly applies to maintaining proper foot health, especially if you have diabetes. Daily washing with a mild detergent soap, especially between toes, as well as checking regularly for blisters, ulcers, inflammation or irregular skin growth is paramount to proper diabetes healthcare. The use of a hand mirror can help you inspect parts of your foot difficult to observe, especially if you have limited mobility.
Should you feel a tingling sensation in your feet, or notice signs of severe redness, swelling or draining, you should contact your diabetes healthcare professional immediately. Remember, a doctor should be the one to treat any diabetes foot problems, including calluses, corns or bunions.
Preventing foot ulcers
The best strategy for preventing complications of diabetes — including foot ulcers — is proper diabetes management with a healthy diet, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring and adherence to a prescribed medication regimen.
Proper foot care will help prevent problems with your feet and ensure prompt medical care when problems occur. Tips for proper foot care include the following:
· Inspect your feet daily. Check your feet once a day for blisters, cuts, cracks, sores, redness, tenderness or swelling. If you have trouble reaching your feet, use a hand mirror to see the bottoms of your feet, place the mirror on the floor if it's too difficult to hold, or ask someone to help you.
· Wash your feet daily. Wash your feet in lukewarm water once a day. Dry them gently, especially between the toes. Use a pumice stone to gently rub the skin where calluses easily form. Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch between your toes to keep the skin dry. Use a moisturizing cream or lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet to keep the skin soft.
· Don't remove calluses or other foot lesions yourself. To avoid injury to your skin, don't use a nail file, nail clipper or scissors on calluses, corns, bunions or warts. Don't use chemical wart removers. See your doctor or foot specialist (podiatrist) for removal of any of these lesions.
· Trim your toenails carefully and regularly. Trim your nails straight across. Carefully file sharp ends with an emery board. Ask for assistance from a caregiver if you are unable to trim your nails yourself.
· Don't go barefoot. To prevent injury to your feet, don't go barefoot, even around the house. NO WATER CONTACT.
· Wear clean, dry socks. Wear socks made of fibers that pull (wick) sweat away from your skin, such as cotton and special acrylic fibers — not nylon. Avoid socks with tight elastic bands that reduce circulation, as well as thick bulky socks that often fit poorly and irritate your skin. Malaysia brand: FUTURO™ Therapeutic Diabetic Socks.
· Buy shoes that fit properly. Buy comfortable shoes that do not fit tightly and that provide support and cushioning for the heel, arch and ball of the foot. Avoid high heels or narrow shoes that crowd your toes. If one foot is bigger than the other, buy shoes in the larger size. Your doctor may recommend specially designed shoes (orthopedic shoes) that fit the exact shape of your feet, cushion your feet and evenly distribute weight on your feet. Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside. Wear shoes that fit well and don’t squeeze or rub.
Diabetic shoes purchase in Malaysia: http://www.stepcareonline.com/products_ds.html
· Keep the Blood Flowing to Your Feet. Put your feet up when you are sitting. Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to improve blood flow in your feet and legs. DO NOT cross your legs for long periods of time.
· Don't smoke. Smoking impairs circulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. These circulatory problems can result in more severe wounds and poor healing. Talk to your doctor if you need help to quit smoking.
· Schedule regular foot checkups. Your doctor or podiatrist can inspect your feet for early signs of nerve damage, poor circulation or other foot problems. Schedule foot exams at least once a year or more often if recommended by your doctor.
· Take foot injuries seriously. Contact your doctor if you have a foot sore that doesn't begin to heal within a few days or other persistent problems with your feet. Your doctor will inspect your foot to make a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment.
· Treat ulcers urgently, within 24 hours, especially if there is redness or swelling around the area, or in an area where you've previously been warned to seek immediate attention. Seek treatment from your GP or podiatrist if foot blisters or injuries do not heal quickly.
· See your doctor if:
1. you see breaks in the skin of your foot, or discharge
2. the skin over part or all of the foot changes colour and becomes more red, blue, pale or dark
3. you notice extra swelling in your feet where there was a blister or injury
Slowly rub the ulcers towards upper direction. Check the ulcers condition.
1. Yellow – pus. Remove it (do not eat egg, seafood and beans if you have pus).
2. Black – dead skin cells, remove it
3. Red – new healing vessel. Do not remove, cut or peel off the skin.
1. Kill the bacteria by using sterilised cotton ball and salt water/ Dettol with warm water.
2. Apply antiseptic cream (Fusidic/ Foban).
3. Allow air circulation and always dry your feet. No barefoot, always wear rubber shoes.
When going out
1. Kill the bacteria by using sterilised cotton ball and salt water/ Dettol with warm water.
2. Apply antiseptic cream (Fusidic/ Foban) ONLY.
3. Wrap your wound using Gauze Swab (medical cotton) and tape the wound using surgical tape.
4. Wear socks made of fibers that pull (wick) sweat away from your skin, such as cotton and special acrylic fibers — not nylon. Avoid socks with tight elastic bands that reduce circulation, as well as thick bulky socks that often fit poorly and irritate your skin.
5. Wear your special footcare shoes.
Basic Exercise: start walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week.
If you have blood circulation/ nerve system or you have swollen area, you can try this:
HOT BAG & COLD BAG
Hot bag function: to improve your blood circulation
1. Boil hot water and turn off the heat.
2. Insert the bag in hot water for 15 minutes.
3. Take the bag, wrap it with towel, and start massage throughout your affected body part.
4. Effective for 30-45 mins everytime. Once the heat is reduced, you can put the bag into the hot water and repeat the steps.
Cold bag function: to reduce your swollen feet/ whichever body part which is too warm and is different from your normal body temperature.
1. Freeze the bag into freezer for at least 2 hours.
2. Take the bag, wrap it with towel, and massage the affected swollen area.
3. If there is dripping of water, squeeze out all water from the towel, and repeat the steps again.
For more info, please refer to the description for the usage. Place the bag in room temperature when it is not in use.
CAUTION: do not have direct contact with the hot/cold bag to your skin. MUST wrap the bag with a thin towel/ clothing.
Keep moving the hot/ cold bag like a massage motion, do not place the bag on one area for long.
Enjoy Life in Good Ways,