Diabetic Foot Care

10 Steps to Daily Diabetic Foot Care

The Disease That Can Affect You from Head To Toe

01. Inspect your feet daily. Look for redness, swelling, open sores or drainage. Use a mirror to look at the sole (underside) of your foot.
   
02. Prevent dry brittle skin. Avoid soaking your feet. Wash your feet with warm soapy water. Be sure to dry well between your toes. If the skin is dry, rub on a small amount of low-fragrance skin lotion.
   
03. Don't "self-treat" sore feet with heat unsupervised, especially if you have nerve damage (neuropathy). The heat can burn your sensitive skin.
   
04. Get help trimming your toenails to avoid ingrown toenails or injury. Your diabetes may have affected your vision or you may not be as limber as necessary to do a safe job trimming your nails.
   
05. Poorly fitting shoes can cause sensitive pressure areas and impair circulation, which can lead to infection of the skin, muscle, and bone.
   
06. Remember to check your shoes periodically for signs of wear, foreign objects or insects. Be aware that your diabetes may cause a loss of feeling or poorer circulation. Shoes that rub can cause foot or skin pain.
   
07. Don't use caustic medicines to treat your own corns or calluses. The chemicals can burn your sensitive skin and lead to serious infection.
   
08. Going barefoot is strongly discouraged. Walking barefoot increases the risk of injury or infection to your toes and feet. The only place to go barefoot is in the shower
   
09. Sandals with thongs can cause friction between your toes. Friction can lead to redness in the skin and in turn, can cause a break in the skin and the beginning of an infection.
   
10. The single most important thing you can do to protect your feet is to control your sugar through diet and exercise.
Diabetes Foot Facts

PREVALENCE OF DIABETES 
TOTAL: 20.8 million people – Seven percent of the U.S. population has diabetes.
DIAGNOSED: 14.6 million people
UNDIAGNOSED: 6.2 million people

PREVALENCE OF DIABETES AMONG PEOPLE 20 YEARS OR OLDER
AGE 20 YEARS OR OLDER: 20.6 million. Nine percent of all people in this age group have diabetes.
AGE 60 YEARS OR OLDER: 10.3 million. Almost 21 percent of all people in this age group have diabetes.
MEN: 10.9 million. Close to 11 percent of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
WOMEN: 9.7 million. Nearly nine percent of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is at least 2 to 4 times higher among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino American women than among non-Hispanic white women.

PREVALENCE OF DIABETES BY RACE/ETHNICITY AMONG PEOPLE 20 YEARS OR OLDER 
AFRICAN-AMERICANS: 3.2 million. Close to 13 percent of all non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 years or older have diabetes. On average, non-Hispanic blacks are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age.
HISPANIC/LATINO-AMERICANS: 2.5 million. Nearly ten percent of Hispanic/Latino Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic/Latino subgroup, are 1.7 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. Residents of Puerto Rico are 1.8 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as U.S. non-Hispanic whites.
CAUCASIAN-AMERICANS : 13.1 million. Close to nine percent of all non-Hispanic whites aged 20 years or older have diabetes.

COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES

AMPUTATIONS
∑ More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.
∑ In 2002, nearly 82,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed among people with diabetes.
∑ Non-Hispanic blacks are 2.7 times as likely to suffer from lower-limb amputations as non-Hispanic whites.

PREVENTING DIABETES COMPLICATIONS
A podiatric physician, a doctor focusing on the treatment of diabetic foot and ankle maladies, plays an integral role in a diabetes management team. Diabetes can affect many parts of the body and can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney damage, and lower-limb amputations. Working together, people with diabetes and their health care providers, such as a podiatric physician, can reduce the occurrence of these and other diabetes complications.

Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45 percent to 85 percent.

Research in the United States and abroad has found that lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among high-risk adults. Lifestyle interventions included diet and moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking for 2.5 hours each week.

Information for this fact sheet has been compiled using the latest statistics from the American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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