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DIABETIC FOOT EXAMINATION

Diabetes, both type 1 and 2 can have a large impact on your feet. According to Diabetes Australia there are over a million people in Australia who have been diagnosed with diabetes of either type. Diabetes can affect your feet as it can impact blood flow and circulation, it also has an affect on the nerves and your sensations. Those who have had diabetes for a long time, can see a negative impact on both the circulation (peripheral arterial disease) and nerves which can result in peripheral neuropathy. 

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common long-term complications of diabetes. It develops in up to half of all people with diabetes and is one of the main risk factors contributing to foot ulceration and eventual amputation. In developed nations the main cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation is “diabetic foot”, which is a result of a combination of decreased sensation and reduced arterial supply. Assessing for peripheral neuropathy is a routine part of ongoing care for patients with diabetes.

Your podiatrist should give you a comprehensive foot examination at least once a year, however following the European standard, medically accredited pedicurist are now qualified to asses some of these examinations to help people with diabetes, which can save their limb and life. This quick assessment can be done each time you visit our clinic, at the end of the medical pedicure session or as individual assessment by request. 

What can be included in this quick foot examination?

1. GENERAL INSPECTION

A careful inspection of the feet, if there is any sign of blister, callus, corn or foot ulceration, including nail inspection.

When looking at the skin we are checking for any lesions or openings, checking between the toes for any sign of compromised skin.

 

2. SENSATION ASSESSMENT USING MONOFILAMENT

Screening for sensory loss with the 10-g monofilament. Loss of the ability to detect this pressure at one or more anatomic sites on the plantar surface of the foot has been associated with loss of large-fiber nerve function.

 

3. VIBRATION SENSATION ASSESSMENT USING TUNING FORK

Home care is very important! 

Cutting your own nails must be done carefully due to the risks of infection from a tear in the skin via cutting nails incorrectly. Ingrown or damaged nails should be left for our specialist to attend to. The same applies to any callus, corns or fissures of the heels. If wanting to self treat these then its advised to use products and items that pose very little risk of causing skin tears.

Other self care methods include the daily use of moisturiser in order to prevent the skin from drying out. In particular the heels as these can crack open and these cracks can not only become painful, they can also open up and bleed which presents an opportunity for infection. Checking your shoes for any rocks or any other foregin objects that may have gotten into you shoes should be done every day. It’s advised to also check underneath the soul of the shoe. Buying correctly fitted shoes is also very important. Shoes that apply pressure on any bony prominences such as bunions or prominent metatarsal heads lead to an increased risk of ulceration. The stitching inside of the shoe should also be checked to ensure that it will not lead to an excessive amount of pressure and friction.

It is very important to use care products that are safe for diabetics. At our clinic we use Footlogix, which is a pediceutical foot care line with dermal infusion technology and is safe for diabetics. Footlogix is available for purchase at the clinic and online: www.smoothfoot.com.au

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