Helping people with diabetes take control of their foot health

There’s a lot to think about if you have diabetes. Between watching what you eat and monitoring your blood glucose levels, you may not be thinking about the condition of your feet.

Having dry skin on your feet may appear insignificant; however if left untreated can lead to more serious problems such as infection, callus, and foot ulcers. In the worst case, this can even result in amputation.

Although this may seem frightening, you can help avoid these problems by starting a simple, daily foot care routine today.

Implementing these simple steps, along with a regular check-in with your GP, nurse or podiatrist, can help you take control of your diabetic foot health. Start your new routine here.

People living with diabetes are at greater risk of developing foot problems.1

Your Simple Steps

There are just three simple steps towards achieving better foot health and your own peace of mind.

A female lying on a couch

CHECK YOUR FEET every day for any changes, including broken skin. Use a mirror if necessary to check the soles. Make sure you speak to your GP, podiatrist or nurse if you have any concerns at all.

A female doctor checking feet

WASH AND DRY your feet daily, paying particular attention to the space between your toes.

A male doctor checking feet

APPLY A UREA BASED CREAM such as Flexitol, to feet once daily. Creams with urea are important as they can:

  • Quickly improve skin dryness
  • Maintain skin flexibility to help treat cracks and dry feet
  • Reduce the build-up of thick skin and callus (which are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction3 )
  • Improve the skin’s ability to be hydrated and stay hydrated

Only 1 in 5 people living with diabetes check their feet every day.2

Check in with your healthcare professional

You should have your feet checked by a healthcare professional at least annually, or more often if your foot health changes.

Contact your GP, podiatrist or nurse immediately if you notice heat, redness or swelling of your feet, as these can indicate infection which is very serious.

If you’ve been identified as being at moderate risk you should see your doctor, nurse or podiatrist every 3-6 months.

If you’ve been identified as being at high risk you should see your doctor, nurse or podiatrist every 2-8 weeks.

4 out of 5 people living with diabetes would check their feet every day if they had a simple daily foot care routine and advice from a healthcare professional on how and why to check their feet.2

1 Diabetes UK. Diabetes and foot problems. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/feet. Last accessed: November 2018.

2 Results from an attitudinal survey of 1,000 people with diabetes, May 2018. Conducted by 3GEM Research & Insights alongside Thornton & Ross.

3 NHS.UK. Corns and calluses https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/feet. Last accessed: November 2018.

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