March 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: A 4-pronged approach that includes patient education, skin and nail care, appropriate footwear, and proactive surgeries can effectively prevent diabetic foot problems. Teach patients with diabetes to examine their feet daily to detect new onset of redness, swelling, breaks in the integrity of the skin, blisters, calluses, and macerated areas. Have them follow a daily foot care regimen that includes warm water soaks and lubrication, and have them keep toenails properly trimmed. Recommend that patients select shoes that fit properly and have sufficient padding and toe box space; have them use inserts, lifts, orthoses, or braces--as recommended-to correct abnormal gait patterns. Finally, if deformities develop, simple proactive surgical procedures can correct these problems before they result in the development of wounds.