Questions on diabetic foot syndrome
What is the best way of caring for my feet?
Inspect your feet daily for changes; look at the areas between the toes and the soles of your feet. Use a mirror if necessary, or ask a relative to help you. When taking a bath, pay attention to the temperature: check the water temperature with a thermometer (max. 35 °C). Do not allow the skin to become too soft and use lipid replenishing soap. Dry your feet very carefully, especially between the toes. Try to use a soft towel so that the rubbing does not damage the skin. Never use sharp objects like razor blades, pliers or rasps to care for your nails or feet. Only use blunt files for your nails or pumice for rough skin. Cut your toenails straight across and file them straight across with a blunt nail file.
Only cut your nails as far as the edge of the toe. This prevents ingrowing toenails. Use moisturising cream or ointment on rough areas and horny skin (heel and sole) to avoid cracks. There are special products available for this. However, care should be taken to ensure that these ointments are not applied to wounds or between the toes. Consult a doctor or podiatrist immediately if you notice any changes such as the formation of blisters or corns, reddening, swelling, lacerations, skin exfoliation or any kind of injury. You should take any changes to your feet very seriously! If you are affected, you should only consult specially trained foot professionals (podiatrists). You can obtain the details of a foot professional in your area from your general practitioner or specialist.
What should I look for when choosing my footwear?
The shape and length of the feet often change during the lifetime of the disease. You should therefore always make sure your shoes fit perfectly – even if you do not suffer from a sensitivity disorder. When purchasing new shoes, visit a specialist retailer (an orthopaedic shoe technician or orthopaedic technician) to have your foot measured precisely. This is especially important if you already have a sensitivity disorder of the foot. Do not order any shoes from a catalogue or via the Internet. Determining the precise size of the feet to ensure the right fit is vital. Before putting them on, always check the inside of the shoes for foreign bodies by feeling them. Check for signs of wear and replace or repair faulty shoes at the earliest opportunity. Only a fully functioning shoe can guarantee optimal protection.
Which measures help in the treatment of foot wounds?
If there is acute ulceration, corresponding countermeasures should be taken immediately. Ideally you should see the doctor who is treating you or visit a specialist diabetes clinic. Besides medical treatment, it is especially important to offload the pressure on the affected area. In this regard, so-called offloading shoes, or surgical shoes, orthoses or a total-contact cast may be suitable, depending on the clinical findings. While an open foot wound is present, LucRo shoes should not be worn. To identify the risk of development of a foot wound as quickly as possible, the following care concept exists: annual foot examination of all patients with diabetes mellitus by the general practitioner to check for the presence of any nerve damage or circulation disorders. If there is evidence of a sensitivity disorder, a six-monthly examination is advisable. Patients classified as being in risk class III or higher (for example, following a plantar ulcer) should be examined as an outpatient every three months.
Who should I contact if I have a question?
For questions relating to diabetic foot syndrome and its treatment, please get in touch with your general practitioner, diabetes specialist, podiatrist, diabetes advisor, orthopaedic (shoe) technician or visit a diabetes foot clinic.
Why is it important to wear appropriate footwear?
Unsuitable shoes are the main cause of amputations in cases of diabetic foot. Around 80 per cent of all amputations among diabetics are precipitated by foot wounds that have been brought about by standard shoes. These shoes are often too small, too narrow, too hard or do not fit sufficiently well. Due to their lack of sensitivity, patients are unable to feel when the shoe is pinching. The consequences are foot wounds. It is important to remember that even wearing inappropriate footwear for a short period of time can lead to foot wounds. Our clinical study was able to prove that LucRo shoes counteract the development of new foot wounds.