Diabetic Foot Care

Foot ulcers are a common and sometimes costly complication of diabetes that can be prevented through self-examination and proper foot care. Left untreated, foot ulcers can lead to infection, gangrene and possible lower limb amputation.

The Wound Care CenterĀ® at Northern Nevada Medical Center provides a specialized, comprehensive approach to problem wounds.

Diabetes related amputation accounts for 51 percent of all amputations in the United States. Most often, foot ulcers are the result of minor foot trauma and wound-healing failure. Because of poor circulation and nerve damage to the feet, people with diabetes are more likely to develop infections from minor foot injuries. Because of that, people with diabetes should treat their feet with special care. By following some simple foot care tips, people with diabetes can dramatically reduce their risk of amputation and lead healthy, active lives.

Patients with diabetes should follow these steps to prevent foot ulcers:

Every day

  • Check your feet for cuts, sores, blisters, or areas of irritation. If you have any concerns, see your podiatrist or internist.
  • Wash and dry your feet, particularly between your toes.
  • Protect your feet from extreme hot and cold temperatures.
  • Avoid walking barefoot.

When your toenails need trimming

  • Trim your nails straight across, and only if you can see well.
  • If you cannot see well or if your toenails are thick or yellowed, have a podiatrist trim them.
  • Do not cut into the corners of your toes.
  • Do not cut corns or calluses.

When you visit your doctor, ask him/her to

  • Look at your bare feet at each visit. As a reminder, remove your shoes and socks.
  • Check your feet for sense of feeling and your pulse at least once a year.
  • Show you how to take care of your feet.