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- Repetitive trauma or pressure on the foot
- Puncture wound on the foot
- Objects in the shoe that can damage the skin, such as a small rock
- Sores, ulcers, or blisters on the foot or lower leg
- Difficulty walking
- Discoloration in feet: black, blue, or red
- Fever, skin redness, swelling, or other signs of infection
- Blood tests
- Wound culture
- Ankle-brachial pressure
Blood Sugar Control
- Clean your feet daily. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes, before putting shoes and socks on.
- Do not wear garters and tight stockings around the legs.
- You may want to use petroleum jelly or an unscented lotion to moisturize dry, leathery feet. Do not put lotion between the toes. The extra moisture may attract bacteria.
- Inspect your feet daily. Look for sores that you may not be able to feel. Use a mirror or the assistance of another person to see all parts of your feet.
- Your doctor should look at your feet and test the feeling in them at least once a year. If you find a sore at any time, make an appointment to see your doctor right away.
- People with diabetes may have toenails that are brittle and difficult to cut. You may also want to have a foot specialist trim your toenails regularly.
- Buy properly fitted shoes. Some insurance companies will pay for custom-made shoes with inserts. A doctor can give you a prescription for the shoes.
- Avoid smoking.
- Talk to your doctor about exercise. Daily exercise will help to improve blood flow and blood sugar levels.
- Calluses can increase the pressure on the foot and lead to foot ulcers. Have your foot doctor remove any calluses. This could reduce the risk of developing a foot ulcer.
- Ask your doctor if you should use a special infrared thermometer. It can check the temperature of your feet.
- Improved control of your diabetes may reduce the risk of ulcers
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org
American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association http://www.podiatrycanada.org
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Bakker K, Apelqvist J, Schaper NC, International Working Group on Diabetic Foot Editorial Board. Practical guidelines on the management and prevention of the diabetic foot 2011. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2012;28 Suppl 1:225-231.
Diabetic foot ulcer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 30, 2014. Accessed September 18, 2014.
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Nelson EA, O’Meara S, Craig D, et al. A series of systematic reviews to inform a decision analysis for sampling and treating infected diabetic foot ulcers. Health Tech Assess. 2006;10(12):1-221.
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2/7/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Armstrong DG, Holtz-Neiderer K, Wendel C, Mohler MJ, Kimbriel HR, Lavery LA. Skin temperature monitoring reduces the risk for diabetic foot ulceration in high-risk patients. Am J Med. 2007;120(12):1042-1046.
2/7/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Lavery LA, Higgins KR, Lanctot DR, et al. Home monitoring of foot skin temperatures to prevent ulceration. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(11):2642-2647.
4/8/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Löndahl M, Landin-Olsson M, Katzman P. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves health-related quality of life in patients with diabetes and chronic foot ulcer. Diabet Med. 2011;28(2):186-190.
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/18/2014 -