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Updated on October 20, 2020

Foot Care in Diabetes: Self Examination

Diabetic foot is defined as infection, ulceration or destruction of tissues of the foot associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease in people with diabetes mellitus.  Up to 50% of diabetic patients may have asymptomatic peripheral neuropathy.  Foot care is an important part of diabetic care to prevent the development of these foot complications.

Screening for peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease in patients with diabetes SHOULD be done at diagnosis and repeated at least yearly.  This is because an untreated foot ulcer has a high chance to progress into leg amputation.

Click to view DiabetesUK video on How to Examine your Feet

The following are important elements in diabetic foot care:

  • Good diabetes control which involves following a diabetic diet, good compliance with medications, doing blood tests regularly, exercising regularly and having regular follow-up with your doctor
  • Exercise regularly as it helps to improve blood circulation and diabetic control
  • Quit smoking because smoking increases the risk of heart, stroke, eye and foot complications
  • Avoid activities that can injure the feet such as walking barefoot or using tight socks or ill-fitting shoes.  Do change your socks daily
  • Eliminate obstacles such as uneven flooring or items which you are likely to trip over or bump your feet on in your house
  • Trim your toenails carefully and avoid cutting the cuticles.
  • Clean your feet regularly by using lukewarm water and mild soap. Gently pat your feet dry and apply moisturizing cream or lotion to prevent dryness of the skin.  Do NOT apply too much on your toe webs (the area in-between your toes) to avoid fungus infection
  • Do get fitted for customised shoes or shoes cushion inserts if you cannot find shoes which fit you comfortably.  These customised shoes can reduce the chances of developing foot ulcers if you have some foot deformity or calluses

See your doctor, vascular surgeon, nurse or podiatrist

if you have any problems with your feet

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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