Diabetic footcare is essential as having diabetes can be dangerous for your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result, you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a nonhealing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.
Everyone who has diabetes should have their feet checked regularly with a podiatrist, and at the very least once a year at their annual review.
DIABETIC FOOT HEALTH ASSESSMENT
At Feet Street Podiatry, your podiatrist will check both the blood supply to your feet and any evidence of loss of sensation in your feet. Blood supply will be checked by looking at the colour of the skin, checking the pulses in the feet and by asking questions about certain kinds of pains in your feet and legs. Normally people have two pulses in their feet: one on the top (dorsalis pedis) and one on the inside of the ankle (posterior tibial). Most often the podiatrist will check these pulses by feeling the pulse with their fingers or they will use a small hand held scanner (called a Doppler) to listen to the pulse. Sensation will be checked with a monofilament – a plastic probe that is designed to buckle at a given pressure and is a good indicator for loss of feeling.
The podiatrist will also be looking for any foot deformity or signs of excessive loading that may warrant either footwear advice or in some cases an insole. Excessive pressure over a prolonged period of time during gait increases the impulse of the area. Higher impulse is associated with an increased risk of ulcerations in diabetic patients. This can be accurately measured during a diabetic Footscan assessment with a clinical specialist and an appropriate treatment plan can be implemented to offload and redistribute any areas of excessive pressure if required, including use of insoles/ orthoses. (See our page on Footscan® Gait Analysis & Phits 3D-Printed Custom Insoles for more info).
When should I see a podiatrist?
At Feet Street Podiatry, we provide routine podiatry treatment for patients with diabetes.
If you see any of the following in your feet, you should seek medical attention and consult your podiatrist:
- Walking becomes more difficult
- Applying or wearing shoes becomes more difficult
- Tingling sensation or pins and needles
- Part or all of your foot becomes swollen
- Breaks in the skin, opens sores/blisters or a discharge
- Skin colour changes (redder, bluer, paler, blacker) over part or all of the foot
- Swelling in your feet and/or an unusual odour
- Part or all of your foot feels much hotter or colder than usual
- Hard skin (callus)
- Cramp in your calves
- Shiny smooth skin and/or losing hair on your feet and legs
To arrange an appointment:
Please book an initial assessment appointment where your podiatrist will discuss the range of management options available.
Did you know? We also offer care plans for routine treatments.