Five Ways To Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Their Complications
Diabetic ulcers on the feet are the primary symptoms of the condition known as “diabetic foot”, as well as one of the most common causes of lower limb amputation in the world. And even if these ulcers don’t progress to such a high level of severity as to require limb amputation, there are still many dangerous complications that can come along with them. In order to help you try to avoid this unpleasant and harmful conditions, we’ve compiled some information on five ways to prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Check daily for any changes in your feet. Be on the look out for any new cuts, scrapes, blisters, sores, or any other abnormalities or injuries that you weren’t there before. Make sure to inspect your feet carefully and don’t rush the process; check the bottoms of your feet as well as between your toes and along the sides. And if you’re truly concerned about your risks of developing diabetic foot ulcers, consult with your personal physician; they will be able to answer any questions you might have and perform a thorough examination in order to assess your case.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t wear shoes that are too tight, or pinch your toes or heels. Also, make sure your footwear isn’t too loose; shoes that are not tight enough can lead to skin irritation and blisters from your feet shifting and rubbing against the inner material of the shoes. Essentially, your shoes need to be snug and comfortable; not too tight, and not too loose.
- Wash your feet regularly. Cleanliness and hygiene are critical for maintaining foot health and avoiding diabetic foot ulcers and the complications that often come with them. Therefore, make sure to wash your feet at least once a day with a soap that won’t irritate your skin. And when drying your feet after washing them, make sure to be thorough (paying special attention to the small spaces between your toes) and remove all moisture.
- Moisturize regularly. It’s important to keep your feet soft and hydrated, so use a moisturizer on them to prevent dry and cracked skin (which can in turn lead to infections, blisters, and other issues that can lead to diabetic foot ulcers.
- Don’t smoke (or quit smoking if you currently do). Smoking has been proven to have a negative effect on blood circulation the human body; therefore, smoking can exacerbate any circulation problems you currently have, which in turn can lead to dangerous problems in extremities like your feet and hands. Some notable problems that occur are reduced blood flow and the sensations of numbness that come from that reduced blood flow. Smoking can also have an impact on the speed of healing for any injuries you might currently have; this can lead to dangerous complications in its own right because the longer an injury takes to heal the greater chance of the wound getting infected or developing a diabetic foot ulcer that might develop even more severe complications of its own.