Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to be unstable and can be higher or lower than normal. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your body. Damage to your nerves means that you may have burning pain or lose feeling in a part of your body. This is often referred to as Diabetic Neuropathy Damage to the blood vessels in your feet, and means that your feet may not be getting a proper blood supply.

People with diabetes have to be very careful with their feet, because decreased circulation and other diabetic conditions could affect overall health of the foot. Diabetes affects the immune and circulation systems. This weakens the body’s capacity to heal itself. Diabetes can also injure sensory nerves in the foot. The risk of developing a large range of foot-related problems can increase with nerve damage and poor circulation.

Book an Appointment

You will see a certified pedorthist who specializes in foot mechanics,
conditions, and conservative treatments.

Prevention and Treatment

Diabetic Socks – The first line of protection for your feet is a sock that is specifically designed for the unique needs of people with diabetes. These socks have these key features:

  • Seamless, constriction-free design prevents the friction and irritation that can cause a blister or sore
  • Moisture management system that wicks away excess moisture because moisture can act as a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria

A Human Kinetic Specialist at Kintec Footlabs can help you to find the best sock to meet your needs. These diabetic socks help reduce foot and leg swelling by increasing blood flow. This non-constricting sock promotes circulation and alleviates muscle fatigue, helping you feel revitalized and energetic throughout the day.

Proper Footwear

  • Have your shoes fitted properly by a trained specialist such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist.
  • Key features for diabetic footwear include soft uppers with minimal seams, deep and wide toe boxes to reduce abnormal pressure, firm but cushioned soles, removable insoles, a strong heel counter, and a rockered sole.
  • Lace up shoes offer a versatile fit and should be used if possible or alternatively use Velcro closures if tying laces is difficult.
  • Avoid slip-on and restrictive footwear such as high heels with pointed toes or shoes that are narrow in style as they depend on a tight fit to stay on the foot.

Orthotics for Diabetes – Uniform and improved pressure distribution is paramount to avoiding injury to the diabetic foot.

Soft, full contact orthotics are required to provide optimal pressure distribution.

Kintec’s F-Scan system can pick up subtle pressure points between the foot and shoe or insole that the practitioner cannot otherwise see. Find our more about Kintec’s orthotics.

Foot Complications – For those with diabetes, small foot problems, when left untreated, can turn into serious problems or infections that could lead to amputation. It is important to monitor for the following foot complications:

  • Ulcers
  • Corns
  • Bunions
  • Dry skin, cracked heels
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoes
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails

Footcare Tips

  • Don’t wear shoes without socks.
  • Don’t wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes and shoes with pointed toes.
  • Look inside your shoes every day for things like gravel or torn linings. These things could rub against your feet and cause blisters or sores. 
  • Wash your feet in lukewarm water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily using a soft washcloth or sponge.
  • Moisturize your feet. Use a lotion/cream daily to keep dry skin from cracking or itching
  • Cut nails carefully. Don’t cut nails too short. This could lead to development of ingrown toe nails. If you have neuropathy or circulation problems, get a foot-care nurse to cut them for you.
  • Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily. Avoid tight elastic bands that reduce circulation in the foot.
  • Never walk barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers to avoid getting a scratch or cut.
  • Take care of your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control.
  • Get periodic foot exams. Ask your doctor to inspect your feet at every diabetes-related visit. In addition, ask to be screened for neuropathy and loss of circulation at least once a year.

Consult a Doctor

  • If you have swelling, redness or pain in your legs and/or feet.
  • If you have any corns, calluses, in-grown toenails, warts or slivers, it is important to let a health care professional treat these conditions. Never attempt to treat them yourself.
  • Patients with diabetes should see their doctors regularly to monitor their ongoing treatment program and the advancement of the disease.

For more reading on Diabetes, read more from Kintec:

Book an Appointment

You will see a certified pedorthist who specializes in foot mechanics, conditions, and conservative treatments
or visit us in-store