Diabetic foot care and foot exams are extremely important for individuals who have just been recently diagnosed, those who have been living with diabetes for several years or at risk individuals.
Individuals living with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing infections and peripheral vascular disease.
What to expect:
For your first visit be sure to come prepared with a list of medication you are currently taking, bring a pair of your widely used footwear, and be sure to discuss any foot/knee/hip issues you may be experiencing.
The Chiropodist will do a full diabetic foot assessment and treatment which includes nail and callus care.
Diabetic Foot Assessment:
A diabetic foot assessment is a step by step approach to testing your vascular system, sensory system, motor system, skin system and footwear. It is highly recommended to have an annual assessment for most individuals living with diabetes. However, certain higher risk individuals need to be monitored more closely.
- Vascular Assessment: an assessment to test your blood supply to your feet. Blood supply can become limited to the feet and extremities with long standing diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes and old age. The assessment includes taking pulses, measuring the blood flow back to the skin, gradual cooling of the lower limb to the feet and assessing the skin and nails for any vascular changes.
- Sensory Assessment: an assessment to test your feeling in your feet. Often with long standing or uncontrolled diabetes, the small and large nerves in your feet can be affected and eventually stop working. The assessment includes testing different locations on your feet with your eyes closed, vibration test, light touch test, and soft pinch test.
- Motor Assessment: an assessment to test your most important joints for walking. If your gait is impaired, pressures will not be distributed properly which may cause the build up of calluses, corns or even diabetic pressure ulcers.
- Skin Assessment: an assessment of your skin and nails to check for corns, calluses, ingrown nails, warts, dry or cracked heels, diabetic ulcers or fungal infections to name a few. Since healing is impaired alongside diabetes, it is very important to treat any infections immediately.
- Footwear Assessment: an assessment to make sure your shoes are being properly worn and they are not causing any calluses or sores to develop.
Diabetic Foot Treatment:
A diabetic foot treatment is a safe medical pedicure which includes nail and skin care. It is very important to avoid nail salons and spas as they do not use clean sterilized instruments nor do they have the medical knowledge necessary to provide diabetic foot treatment. Diabetic nail care includes trimming your nails safely and properly, cleaning out the corners from each nail and thinning out thick/rough nails. Skin treatment includes taking down any hard calluses or corns in a safe manner to a proper depth and even distribution. If any pressure points were noted in the footwear or skin assessment, these pressure points are addressed and often your footwear will receive a makeover to help your feet feel better.
Taking care of your feet is an important aspect of overall diabetic care and that includes having a Licensed chiropodist to be a part of your diabetic health team.