Diabetes is an increasingly common issue in our society with more than 100,000 Australians having developed the condition in the last year. Diabetes can affect both the blood and the nerves and the most common complications involve the eyes, kidneys and feet.
Over time diabetic individuals can become neuropathic and loose feeling in their feet. This can be problematic as they are often unaware of pressure points, rubbing and foreign objects (such as stones in their shoes) which if left unattended can cause lesions in the skin. With inadequate blood flow to the region these can develop into ulcers. Regular care and foot checks are vital for maintaining foot health.
Some tips for caring for your feet at home include:
- Check feet each day for redness, swelling and heat (these may be signs of infection)
- If you have trouble seeing your feet use a mirror on the floor to check the soles of your feet
- Use your hands to feel your feet to check for anything abnormal
- Make sure you wash and dry your feet properly on a regular basis
- If excess moisture occurs between toes you can use methylated spirits to dry the feet
- Check your shoes for foreign objects or wear and tear before putting them on
Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly when you have a problem. Get your feet checked at least once a year by a doctor or podiatrist to detect problems early and help prevent complications.