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It’s World Foot Health Awareness Month, but if you live with diabetes, your feet are a priority all year round.

When Diabetes Dialogue asked people from our Facebook community what they wanted to know about foot care, they had lots of questions. Here’s one from Ralph Stoker, and the expert advice provided by Dr. John Embil, a doctor, professor in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and co-author of the chapter on foot care in the Diabetes Canada 2018 Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada

Q I don’t know what to look for when it comes to potential foot problems!

A If your eyesight is good enough, inspect your feet with a mirror. If not, have a family member or caregivers inspect them. Look for changes in the colour and texture of your skin, or the shape of your feet, and go to your doctor or foot specialist if you find any of the following:

• Whiteness: affected areas, such as toes, turn white – a sign of poor circulation

• Redness around the affected area: possible sign of infection

• Redness of the skin when your foot hangs down: possible sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which indicates poor circulation in your feet

• Bruising: possible sign of trauma

• Blisters: ill-fitting footwear

• Calluses: could cause pressure and lead to open sores

• Cracks in the skin: could lead to infections

• Lumps/bumps on the sole: shift in the structures of your feet, possibly the result of an injury that went unnoticed as a result of, say, nerve damage, also known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which could leave you unable to sense or feel pain in your feet

• Toes pointing in different directions: possible fractures

Want to learn more about how to prevent diabetes complications? Check out this downloadable foot care info.

(Parts of this post were originally published in the article, “Feet First” by Gabrielle Bauer, Diabetes Dialogue.)

Author: Denise Barnard

Category Tags: Healthy Living;

Region: National

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