Fall can be an unwelcome time of year if you have diabetes. Cool evening walks and hiking through those crunchy, fallen leaves aren’t as appealing when you have a foot ulcer. However, following a few simple tips you can prevent a wound from developing or can help it to heal.
The reason a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) develops is because of nerve damage or injury in the feet where the nerves are the longest in your entire body. If you lose feeling or sensation in your feet, small sores go unnoticed until a larger, more serious ulcer
To prevent a foot sore from progressing:
- Do a daily foot check using a mirror to see if any redness or soreness exists.
- Examine shoes prior to wear, for any sharp edges or tears on the inside of the shoe.
- Wash your feet every day with warm water and a mild soap.
- Wear well-fitted shoes.
- Cover your feet (except between the toes) with petroleum jelly, lanolin lotion or a cold cream before putting on shoes and socks.
- Use an emery board or pumice stone to remove dead sin. Leave any calluses since they act as protective padding.
- Cut toenails straight across. Don’t leave any sharp edges that can prick other toes.
- Don’t cross your legs because that can reduce blood flow to your feet.
- Ask your doctor to check your feet at each visit.
- If your feet get cold, wear socks to bed.
- NEVER go barefoot.
Barefoot activities, like swimming or walking on the beach, can be dangerous for people with diabetes. Make foot protection a top priority.
If you already have a foot ulcer that needs treatment, especially if it won’t heal on its own, talk to your physician and/or diabetes educator about the Wound & Edema Center. Our staff have special wound treatments available that aren’t in a typically doctor’s office. A physician referral is not required, but is suggested. We will keep your physician up-to-speed on your progress all along the way. Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Wound.