Why is it important to look after your feet, if you have diabetes?

So you have been to the doctor and you have found out that you have diabetes. What now? You have probably been advised to keep an eye on your weight, your sugar levels, your lifestyle in general. But did you know that your feet play a very important part in the management of Diabetes?

Sugars in the blood, when in high concentration, can affect the way that nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the various parts of our body. Our feet, being the furthest extremities, may be the first to be affected.

If the delivery of oxygen and nutrients is not optimal, as time passes, the foot will start developing harder callous, it may change structure, leading to higher pressure points under the foot, it may develop neuropathy, which is the loss of sensation on the foot, and ultimately, it could lead to something called diabetic foot ulcers. 

Diabetic foot ulcers are the one thing that podiatrists will try to prevent in patients with diabetes. This because, always due to the high levels of sugar in the blood, the healing process will be slower and more difficult. Even a simple blister could develop in an ulcer, if not addressed properly. 

Therefore prevention is better than cure.

For this reason, here at the Ferry Road Foot Clinic we take the matter seriously when looking after our patients with diabetes. We will  check your feet regularly and, once yearly (depending on the risk level of diabetes) we will carry out a neuropathic assessment. Included in your routine appointment price.

For more information do not hesitate to contact us.

How to keep your feet healthy:

- Check your feet every day: you should check your feet every day for any blisters, breaks in the skin, pain or any signs of infection such as swelling, heat or redness.

- Wash your feet every day: You should wash your feet every day in warm
water and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Do not soak your feet as this can damage your skin.

- Moisturise your feet every day: If your skin is dry, apply a moisturising cream
every day, avoiding the areas between your toes. If over the counter creams do not help, we will be able to advise and prescribe more specific creams.

- Cut or file your toenails regularly, following the curve of the end of your toe. Use a nail file to make sure that there are no sharp edges which could press into the next toe. Do not cut down the sides of your nails as you may create a ‘spike’ of nail which could result in an ingrown toenail. Having your nails cut and filed, and hard skin removed in our clinic will be a great way for you to give yourself peace of mind, with a general check up of your feet and a great service.

- You should change your socks, stocking or tights every day. They should not have bulky seams and the tops should not be elasticated.

- Avoid walking barefoot:
If you walk barefoot you risk injuring your feet by stubbing your toes and standing on sharp objects which can damage the skin.

- Check your shoes:
Check the bottom of your shoes before putting them on to make sure that nothing sharp such as a pin, nail or glass has pierced the outer sole. Also, run your hand inside each shoe to check that no small objects such as small stones have fallen in.

- Badly-fitting shoes:
Badly-fitting shoes are a common cause of irritation or damage to feet. We will be able to give you advice  about the shoes you are wearing and about buying new shoes.

- Minor cuts and blisters:
If you check your feet and discover any break in the skin, minor cuts or blisters, you should cover them with a sterile dressing and check them every day. Do not burst blisters. If the problems do not heal within a few days, or if you notice any signs of infection (swelling, heat, redness or pain), contact us or your GP.

We do provide FAST TRACK appointments for our patients with diabetes who need urgent care for foot-related issues.