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Diabetes and Proper Foot Care: A Guide to Prevention of Ulcers

← Health Promotion The California Sutter Health Approach →

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Foot ulceration is a rather common complication of  Diabetes Mellitus. It is imperative that patients with Diabetes be made aware of the condition and the appropriate measures to be taken. Preventive guidelines are highly advised so as to halt or restrict exacerbations of the condition. Proper foot care is important in preventing this dreadful, and often debilitating effect of Diabetes.  Correct instructions have to be carefully given to the patient and their care givers upon discharge or after consultation.

The foot must always be maintained dry and checked regularly for skin abrasions. For patients who are bed- bound, correct turning schedules are observed. Keeping the foot in one position for too long could cause pressure on bony prominences resulting in ischemia and reduced blood flow to the area, hence, resulting to ulcer formation. Wearing compressive garments is an absolute contraindication. Footwear must be of perfect fit and donned carefully. Careful nail care is observed to prevent cuts that could lead to infection. Infection  increases the risk for amputation if  appropriate wound care is not observed. Avoiding liniments that could decrease sensation is also necessary. Liniments dull the skin surface and can cause minor burns.    Observing a strict diet plan is essential for ensuring that blood glucose is maintained at a controlled level. Exercise plays a vital role in guaranteeing good outcomes for Diabetes treatment. A suitable exercise program has to be carefully executed on a daily basis. It aids in proper circulation and prevents ischemia. Low level, low intensity exercises are advised so as to maintain joint integrity. Getting regular appointments with a Physician for careful monitoring of blood glucose level and adequate medication is advised. Once skin lesions are found on a diabetic foot, seeing the doctor is a top priority.

Prevention of diabetic foot ulcers is paramount in keeping the effects of Diabetes at a minimum. It can be a tedious task since not all patients are cooperative. Strict precautions must be observed and seeing to it that patients adhere with treatment plans ensure better prognosis and lower healthcare cost.

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