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Diabetic foot

Diabetic foot is a chronic complication of diabetes. It affects both the patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. It is a type of ulceration, usually located on the sole or dorsal part of the foot. Diabetic foot may be accompanied by foot deformation.

Peripheral neuropathy is considered to be the main cause of diabetic foot. Diabetic foot is devoid of pain and temperature sensation.

Factors:

  • nerve damage that leads to muscle atrophy or motor impairments. Leg weakness as well as deterioration or loss of sensation occurs. The foot becomes deformed, the toes are hammer-shaped.
    Because of pain sensation disorder, a person at risk of diabetic foot does not feel, e.g. the pain resulting from injury, abrasions from uncomfortable footwear, etc.
  • Blood supply impairment. Deterioration of blood circulation in the foot occurs due to narrowing of the arteries, which results in lower blood flow, as well as worse blood supply to the legs, which causes wounds to heal much worse.
  • Gait disorders caused by incorrect foot placement cause calluses, which very often become the beginning of ulcerations.

Diabetic foot prevention

  • Avoid walking barefoot.
    Impaired pain sensation may cause the patient not to feel hurt.
  • Comfortable footwear, with loose, wide and high toes. If necessary, special insoles should be used to relieve the feet.
  • Socks should be pressure-free, seamless, made of natural fibres.
  • Proper hygiene. Feet should be washed in lukewarm water; not too hot in order not to burn the legs. Feet should be dried thoroughly, also between the toes. Feet should not be soaked for a long time. After washing, feet should be slightly greased.
  • Proper nail care. Toenails should be shortened with a file, not too short. Do not trim the cuticles to reduce the risk of micro-damage!
  • Feet should be viewed from all sides every day. Any injuries should be reported to the specialist.
  • Regular glycemic control, taking the appropriate medications and following a diabetic diet.
  • Regular physical exercises prepared together with the specialist.