What increases the risk of developing foot ulcers?
- If you have reduced sensation to your feet
- If your diabetes is poorly controlled
- If you have narrowed blood vessels
- If you have had a foot ulcer in the past.
- If you have other complications of diabetes, such as kidney or eye problems
- If your feet are more prone to minor cuts, grazes, corns or calluses which can occur If your shoes do not fit properly, which can put pressure on your feet or If you have leg problems which affect the way that you walk, or prevent you from bending to care for your feet.
Good foot care practices
- Looking carefully at your feet each day, including between the toes. If you cannot do this yourself, you should ask someone else to do it for you and look for signs of injury
- Wear appropriate fitting shoes,footwear should have broad fronts with plenty of room for the toes and should have low heels to avoid pressure on the feet
- Always feel inside footwear before you put it on
- Do not walk barefoot, even at home. You might tread on something and damage your skin
- Moisturize your feet daily.
- Wash your feet regularly and dry them carefully, especially between the toes
- Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown nails.
- Do not try to deal with corns, or other foot problems by yourself. They should be treated by a health professional
- To avoid burning of numb feet: check bath temperatures; avoid hot water bottles, electric blankets, foot spas and sitting too close to fires
- Keep your blood sugar within a healthy range by checking your blood sugar on a regular basis. Also, take your diabetes medication as instructed. If you’re unable to control your blood sugar, see your doctor
- Stay physically active, at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Consult a nutritionist for meal planning advice.
- Quit smoking.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol within a healthy range.
- Maintain a healthy weight.