Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why is a Diabetic’s Feet at Risk?

More amputations result from diabetes than any other cause. With that said, I've listed the main reasons why diabetic's should make foot care a focus.

--Diabetes damages the nerve system.
Often times, damage can occur to the foot and not be detected because the diabetic patient has lost feeling in the feet or legs. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy.

--Diabetes also affects circulation.
Poor circulation can also impact the body’s ability to heal after damage has occurred.

--Diabetes can affect the body’s ability to fight infection.
The body’s protection processes that fight infection respond slower and because of poor circulation, may have a more difficult time getting to the infection.

--Diabetes can also affect the joints.
Joints in the legs and feet may feel stiff and painful.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tips for Cold, Dry, or Sweaty Feet

Cold Feet
Wear socks to keep feet warm instead of using hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets that could burn your feet without you noticing. Try SmartKnit® X-STATIC seamless diabetic socks. They’re thermodynamic, which means they are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Dry, Scaly or Flaky Skin
After washing and drying feet well, rub on a thick moisturizer. Take care not to get lotion between your toes because extra moisture can lead to infection. There are oxygenated lotions formulated for diabetics on the market. You might want to try GeLuscious® Gel Booties. These booties have a gel inside that works to moisturize your feet every time you put them on.

Sweaty Feet
Wear socks woven with a wicking fiber such as DuPont CoolMax® that draws moisture away from your skin. You may want to try SmartKnit® Seamless Diabetic Socks made with CoolMax® Cotton or wool retain moisture against your foot, both types of fibers become compressed and abrasive, and lose their shape easily- all potential problems for the diabetic foot susceptible to infection and ulcers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Top 10 Diabetic Foot Care Tips

Approximately 15% of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer during their lifetime. Foot ulcers can ultimately lead to amputation, but it is estimated that 50% of those foot and leg amputations could be avoided if the patient modified their lifestyle to lower the risk of ulcers forming and make foot care a top priority.

It is much easier to prevent a foot ulcer than to heal it. Educate yourself on prevention factors, eliminate all risk factors you can and minimize the others. These tips will get you started.

1. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any changes in your feet, no matter how minor.

2. Check your feet daily for "hot spots", infected nails, etc. Early detection and treatment can save you from problems down the road.

3. Always keep your feet clean. Wash them with a mild soap and dry them well (especially between your toes) before putting on your socks and shoes to inhibit bacteria growth.

4. Protect your feet from water that is too hot or too cold by checking it first with your elbow.

5. Never soak your feet because soaking can dry out your skin.

6. Keep your toenails trimmed by following the natural curve of your toe. If unable to trim them yourself, have your foot specialist trim them for you.

7. Wear clean socks every day and pull or roll them on gently. Make sure your socks are not too large or small and that there are no holes or bunched areas that could rub your foot wrong.

8. Wear diabetic socks without seams to avoid unnecessary pressure in the toe area. Studies show socks with toe seams apply 10 times more pressure in your toe area than seamless socks.
Visit for specially designed diabetic socks.

9. Wear sturdy, supportive, shoes that fit well and give your toes room to move. Have your shoes fit by a diabetic shoe specialist. Shoes that aren't comfortable in the store will rarely feel comfortable later. Look for shoes that have a low heel and thick soles to provide maximum protection against injury. Shop for your shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Make sure to wear socks when trying them on to ensure a good comfortable fit. Shoes that are too tight can cause blistering during the break in period. Break in new shoes slowly to avoid discomfort and abrasions.

10. Before putting on your shoes, run your hand through the insides to remove rocks or sharp objects that may have fallen in them. If you feel rips or rough edges inside the shoe, it.s time for a new pair.