One step at time: Your Diabetes, Your Feet and Covid-19
8-14 June is Diabetes Awareness Week and we are producing a series of blogs and news articles to raise awareness of the condition that affects millions of people across the UK. Today we hear from our Principle Podiatrist Graham Bowen, who is sharing his thoughts on the importance of those with diabetes looking after their feet.
Graham said: “Our feet are so important to all of us and, at times, we do take them for granted. They carry us many miles in our lifetime. However, they are often overlooked and can be neglected. In patients with diabetes, it is really important to make sure your feet are well looked after.
“Diabetes foot complications can be serious and could lead to foot ulceration, infection and amputation. The good news is that most foot problems are preventable and can be resolved if seen early or managed well.
“Living well with your diabetes is very important. This includes eating a healthy diet, staying well hydrated, not smoking and ensuring you can exercise to your ability.
“Solent NHS Podiatry Service continues to be open during the Covid-19 Pandemic and is operating out of a reduced number of clinical locations. The service has been seeing diabetes patients with ongoing or new foot ulceration. I would urge anyone with diabetes who has a foot ulcer to please contact your local podiatry service if you are a current patient or speak to your GP about getting a referral.”
Graham’s top tips for healthy feet:
- Check your feet daily - use a mirror or ask a loved one to check the soles, the heel and in-between the toes
- Always wash and dry your feet each day
- Nail care – always ensure if you safely can – cut the nail straight across. If not use a file on a regular basis
- Use a moisturiser on your feet daily – this will keep the skin well hydrated. Remember though to avoid between the toes (unless you have a specific cream for this).
- Wear suitable shoes - always chose a shoe with a natural upper as this will allow the foot to breathe.
- Check your shoes for foreign objects such as stones – this will prevent damage to your skin
- Wear lace-ups or Velcro - these types of fastening will allow the shoe to fit securely on to the foot.
- Avoid slip-on shoes – these can cause rubbing
- Protect your feet from sunburn – use factor 50 if you have bare feet outside.
- Don’t delay with any break in your skin on your feet - seek medical advice as soon as possible.
- If you have an existing foot ulcer and not being seen by podiatry, please make contact with your GP for a referral or for existing podiatry patient call 0300 300 2012