8 Tips to Avoid Diabetic Foot Ulcers
June 29, 2021
Diabetic ulcers are a serious enough condition that diabetic foot care specialists sometimes refer to them as "battle wounds." They differ from other diabetic wounds in that they can cause significant blood loss and may result in amputation if left untreated.
A diabetic foot ulcer is a painful lesion that occurs in an area of nerve damage, usually on the soles or toes. If a sore is ignored or left untreated, it can quickly turn into an open wound that destroys soft tissue and may become infected by bacteria or fungi, putting the affected area at risk of amputation.
So how can you avoid getting a diabetic foot ulcer? Using proper footwear and keeping your feet clean and dry are all vital to maintaining healthy feet.
Here are eight tips to help you avoid an ulcer from occurring.
Tip 1: Wear shoes that fit properly.
Your shoes should have a wide toe box that doesn't constrain your feet. Your feet need to be able to move freely inside your shoes. Do not wear shoes that are too tight or otherwise uncomfortable. If your toes are restricted, there's a risk that they will suffer damage that could lead to an ulcer.
Tip 2: Ensure that your shoes offer proper support.
They should have a proper cushion between the foot and the sole. This will ensure that your feet have adequate support when you're walking or running. Avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, clogs, or other shoes with a thin sole. Such footwear doesn't provide adequate support for the foot and can lead to ulcers. Look for shoes that have a heel plate, a feature that helps support your full weight.
Tip 3: Wear socks that are clean, dry, and supportive.
Put on fresh socks every day to help keep your feet clean. Many patients with diabetes find that their feet sweat a lot—it's important to wear socks that are good at wicking away moisture. Avoid wearing socks that are thin or tight as they are less supportive and not as good at keeping feet dry.
Tip 4: Avoid walking around barefoot, both indoors and outside.
Without the protection that shoes offer you are at greater risk of injuring your feet, for example by jamming your toes or stepping on sharp objects. If you have neuropathy, a condition caused by nerve damage that leads to decreased sensation, you are less likely to notice injuries to your feet, which may develop into ulcers.
Tip 5: Check and clean your feet regularly.
Inspect your feet daily for cuts, calluses, blisters, or other injuries that could lead to ulcers. In addition, wash your feet every day with lukewarm water using a washcloth and soap, then dry them gently with a soft, fresh towel, paying attention to the areas between your toes.
Tip 6: Schedule regular check-ups with your podiatrist or primary care doctor.
Make sure your doctor inspects your feet and discuss your foot health routine with them. Take the opportunity to share any new symptoms you're experiencing or health concerns you have.
Tip 7: Stay active.
Regular physical activity is important for overall health. Consult with your doctor as to what level of exercise is appropriate for you and make time in your daily schedule for activities such as walking, yoga, or swimming.
Tip 8: Talk to your doctor about other ways you can be proactive about the health of your feet.
You may be a candidate for new products like Siren Socks, which measure your foot temperature for early signs of injury and alert your provider about any potential issues with your feet.
Interested in learning more about Siren Socks?
Temperature monitoring helps improve outcomes related to diabetic foot ulcers. Don’t take our word for it. Talk to your doctor about prescribing Siren Socks today! Find a Certified Siren Provider here.