Do you want to prevent diabetic foot ulcers from developing? Then you have to be very strict when it comes to checking your foot for any signs and symptoms of a foot lesion. The moment one appears, you need to visit your doctor immediately for proper wound care and management.
DIY Diabetic Foot Exam
Doing a diabetic foot exam is very easy. Below is a quick diabetic foot check that will only take a few minutes.
- After giving your feet a proper cleaning, sit comfortably on your chair or bed. The room where you will be doing the foot check should be well-lit.
- Place one ankle over the opposite leg and pat your foot dry. Do not rub your foot too vigorously, especially the areas between your toes. You don’t want to cause any abrasions.
- Give your foot a thorough check, especially the toes, nails, bony areas, calluses, and corns. You can also use a handheld mirror to see the bottom of your foot. Now, look for any signs of lumps, wounds, abrasions, infections, ingrown toenails, toenail discoloration, fissures, dry skin, skin color changes, deformities, or any other abnormalities. Dry skin can cause fissures and cracked skin, which can then become infected if not addressed immediately.
- Check your foot’s temperature. Increased temperature in one or several spots may be a sign of inflammation which could, later on, develop into a foot ulcer.
- Check your foot’s blood flow by pressing on the skin or pinching the toes. Blood flow is normal when the skin immediately returns to its normal color a few seconds after releasing the pressure.
- Check for any signs of abnormal sensations pain as well as decreased sensations to touch, pressure, and even pain.
- Record any findings (abnormalities, smell, and feel) for comparison.
- Repeat the same process for your other foot.
Warning Signs to Watch Out for
You need to see your doctor if you notice any of these changes:
- Open sores, fungal infections, and ingrown toenails.
- Patches of hairless skin, which may be a sign of decreased blood flow in the area.
- Skin color that didn’t immediately return to its normal color after applying pressure on it. This may also be a sign of circulatory problems.
- Temperature variations, which may be a sign of inflammation.
Doing a diabetic foot exam is very important, especially since 1 out of 4 diabetic patients develop foot ulcers. Learning and diligently performing this quick diabetic foot self-exam can help prevent lesions and wounds from worsening.
Incidence of diabetic foot ulcer and lower extremity amputation among Medicare beneficiaries, 2006 to 2008. URL Link. Accessed: August 3, 2017. [/expand]