Sunday, 18 April 2010

Foot Care Key in Diabetes Patients

Foot care key in diabetes patients

HARTSVILLE - Did you know that more than 40 citizens in Darlington County lost their feet or legs to diabetes in one year? Few things are more important in diabetes than taking care of the feet. The feet are a source of complications and infections, sometimes life-threatening ones.

Diabetes causes problems for the feet in two ways. The circulation is impaired, and the sensation to the feet can be decreased or lost. An ulcer, blister or burn can occur without causing pain, and, by the time the infection is discovered, it can be very serious.

To prevent problems, a person should wash his or her feet daily and inspect them for blisters, sores or other problems. The skin should be dried carefully, and the toenails cut straight across. If corns or calluses need to be trimmed, it is best to have it done by a doctor, podiatrist or nurse.

One should wear comfortable stockings and properly fitting shoes. Each day, check the shoes for any pebbles, protruding nails or other intrusions which may cause pressure on the foot. If the feet feel cold, it is best to wear more stockings and clothes rather than try to warm them by a heater or in hot water. Burns can occur without causing pain and will take weeks to heal.

A person must avoid harmful practices, such as smoking, which will further damage the circulation and delay healing.

Do not wear constricting or seamed stockings or footwear that may cause excessive rubbing or pressure, such as sandals or high-heeled shoes. Walking barefoot may be even worse. Stepping on slivers of sharp objects is sure to cause an infection. Do not even walk barefoot inside the house as carpets hide many hazards.

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