Each quarter, we bring you information and suport on living with a prosthetic device. In this issue: FOOT CARE.
Studies show that people with diabetes are 67% more likely to suffer a lower extremity amputation than someone without the disease. As part of their efforts for National Limb Loss Awareness Month, The Amputee Coalition has created a campaign entitled: "Take a Seat, Check Your Feet." The following comes from their flyer:
TAKE A SEAT - CHECK YOUR FEET
Did you know that 250 adults a day lose a leg because of diabetes and that 7 out of 10 of those amputations could have been prevented? That's because diabetes lowers feeling and blood flow to the feet. This raises your risk of amputation. Follow this simple guide for checking your feet.
* Check for cuts, sores, bumps or lumps on the bottom of your foot. Even the tiniest cracks can become infected.
* Use both hands to feel your feet. Check for bumps or changes in temperature from one part of the foot to another. Changes in temperature could mean low circulation or infection.
* Search for any problems on the top of your feet, like sores or bruises. Look for patches of hairless and thin or shiny skin.
* Look between your toes for any problems. Look for blisters, sores and redness.
* Look for ingrown toenails with red and puffy skin along the nail and tenderness or pain.
The best time to check your feet is after a shower or bath. Once your feet are dry, sit on a bed, chair or toilet in a well-lit room. Use a foot mirror to inspect the bottom of your feet if you can't see them.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following problems:
1. Breaks in the skin with redness, rashes, blisters, cracks in the skin or drainage.
2. Trauma to skin or nails
3. Change in the foot size or shape
4. Toenail problems-redness, drainage, pain
5. Ingrown toenails
6. Any foot problem that prevents you from wearing your regular shoe comfortably
Tips for Foot Care
* Wear socks and shoes that fit.
* Change shoes every other day. Wear clean socks every day.
* Do not walk barefoot as you may step on something and not feel it.
* Do not use very hot water or heating pads on the feet as you may burn yourself and not feel it.
Click here to find out how you can get involved in spreading the word about National Limb Loss Awareness Month, and the "Take a Seat, Check Your Feet" campaign.