diabetic footcare

Do you offer footcare specifically for people living with diabetes?

Yes, we do. We provide comprehensive diabetic footcare and education including the prescription of diabetic footwear and diabetic orthotics and the treatment of foot ulcers and wounds.

What is diabetes and should I see a chiropodist?

Diabetes is a condition where you have raised blood glucose levels (called hyperglycaemia) due to a metabolic disorder.

There are two main types of diabetes:

TYPE I – (Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus) where patients control their diabetes with insulin

TYPE II – (Non Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus) where patients may control their diabetes through diet, tablets or sometimes insulin.

Both of these type of diabetes can be harmful to feet so it is essential that everyone with diabetes of either type visit a Chiropodist / Foot Specialist because of the risks of diabetic foot disease.

People with diabetes should attend every 6 – 12 months for a check-up and whenever they have foot problems. However, your chiropodist may recommend a more frequent visit depending on the level of risk they assess with your specific level of diabetic foot disease.

What changes can happen with diabetic foot disease?

Diabetes is directly linked with profound changes to your feet. The circulation to and around your feet can deteriorate meaning you are more susceptible to infection, less likely to heal quickly and your skin quality reduces meaning it is easier to damage. The sense of feeling in your feet can also reduce so that it is possible to damage your feet and not know about it.

This is why it is important feet are monitored regularly so that changes are detected early on.

You can see how even seemingly simple problems like corns, callus or poorly looked after toenails often manifest as more complex, urgent problems or emergencies.

What are the basic guidelines for diabetics between chiropody visits

  • Wash feet daily and dry thoroughly – especially between the toes.
  • Apply moisturizing cream to your feet daily but not between your toes.
  • Check your feet daily for anything unusual – colour changes, breaks in the skin, swelling, discharge etc.
  • Seek medical attention urgently if these are noted.
  • Always wear shoes or house slippers on your feet to protect them.
  • Ensure your shoes are the correct fit and are adjustable – low heel, laced shoes are the best.

Look out for warning signs such as Redness, Swelling, Pus, Discharge, Pain.

What are the factors that might make me high risk of developing complications with diabetic foot disease?

Some systemic diseases (such as Type I and Type II diabetes) can cause ongoing damage to nerves, blood vessels, or both.

Diabetes is a life-long disease that over time can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels leading to loss of feeling and decreased circulation in your feet.

  • Loss of feeling is called sensory neuropathy
  • Insufficient circulation in your feet is called ischaemia 
  • Both loss of feeling and decreased circulation in your feet is called neuro-ischaemia.

How risks become problems:

  • Restrictions in ranges of motion or deformed areas are at risk of pressure or friction leading to skin breakdown or ulceration
  • Skin Breakdown called ulceration may also start from cracks or sores.
  • Fragile, broken or open areas in the skin allow microorganisms (germs) to enter.
  • This can very quickly lead to infection as microorganisms (germs) enter.
  • If your blood vessels are no longer healthy this acts as an impairment to healing.
  • If you are diabetic higher blood sugars can increase the risk of infection.
  • You may not even know there is a problem if you have lost the feeling in your feet!
  • Examples of factors which increase your risk of developing complications of diabetic foot disease such as infection, ulceration, amputation or hospitalization include the following

    • Signs of diabetic foot disease
    • Increased pressure areas under your foot
    • Reduced ranges of movement in your feet
    • Sites of prior amputation
    • Deformity of toes or the foot
    • Reduced blood flow to your feet
    • Diminished nerve function in your feet
    • Reduced Sensation in your feet
    • Reduced skin quality
    • Toenails in need
    • A History of Foot Ulceration
    • Signs of an urgent problem
    • ​Or other systemic disease leading to risk

    It is important for you to take exceptionally good care of your feet and to follow any advice given to you!

    Can you provide me with appropriate shoes and orthotics to reduce my risks of developing foot complications?

    Yes ! We both prescribe and supply orthotics and footwear for diabetic patients. Our comprehensive diabetic foot screening helps us identify the risks of you developing serious foot complications. We are able to help develop a plan to manage the risks that may include regular screening and diabetic foot care, regular advice and education. We may suggest modifications or changes to your footwear which may include custom foot orthotics.