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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Diet and Fitness FOOT CARE IN DIABETICS


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Foot Care in Diabetics

Diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of blood glucose (Hyperglycemia) resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both.

High levels of glucose in the blood in the long run results in the dysfunction and structural damage of multiple organs including the nervous system, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels etc.

In diabetes, the first to get affected are the peripheral nerves. This kind of nerve damage (neuropathy) usually involves the superficial nerves of the lower limbs, especially the feet. Due to the loss of some nerve function, the sensory perception in the feet is either poor or lost completely. This would make you remain oblivious to any sort of insult or injury to the feet, leaving you vulnerable to serious foot infections or even gangrene. Hence, it is very important for you to take care of your feet.


Apart from accidents, diabetes is the leading cause for foot amputation. If neglected, it can lead to loss of toes or foot and sometimes loss of life too.


Here are a few important foot care precautions you need to follow meticulously:


Ø    Never walk bare foot. Hot or cold flooring can cause injuries without your knowledge as you do not feel certain sensations. This usually is encountered in Indians who walk bare foot in religious places.



Ø    Walk wearing soft cotton sock in places where you can't wear footwear. Take care that the socks is not too tight as it may hamper the superficial blood circulation.



Ø    Wash your feet once after returning from work or at least twice daily with normal tap water. Take care that water should not be too hot as it can cause burns, or too cold as it can cause a frost bite.



Ø    Wipe your feet and the web-spaces with a soft cotton towel and dry. Dampness of any sort can result in fungal infection in the web-spaces.



Ø    In case of dry skin, apply a moisturizer to avoid cracks which can act as a doorway for infections.



Ø    Trim your toe nails regularly. Sometimes, long nails can result in injuries while walking barefoot.



Ø    Do watch for any prick injuries on the sole of the foot. Use a mirror for better view.



Ø    Avoid smoking. Diabetes damages the blood vessels and smoking adds to this damage and hampers one’s blood circulation leading to gangrene.



Ø    If you notice an injury of any size, visit your doctor at the earliest. The earlier it is attended the better it is for the healing to take place sooner.



Ø    Do not trim the skin callosities or de-bride any wound on your own.



Ø    Never place your foot on the silencer of a motor bike or against any heated object. This could happen most of the time without your knowledge. Be careful when in the vicinity of a hot object.



Ø    Always keep all your wounds and dressings clean.



Ø    Keep your blood sugar levels under control. Do not miss your medication. Go for walks and be active. Ask a doctor for better equipment and their usage tips.



Ø      Always take help from your doctor in foot care. Do not self medicate.



It is very important to keep your blood sugar levels under control through diet and medication. It is nevertheless important to care for your feet which are prone for injuries. Good foot care may help you prevent disabilities and even loss of life sometimes.


Written by Dr. Raju A. T.