Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Article Banner
Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

Spotlight: Pro-active Developments in Preventing Foot Ulcers

separator For people with diabetes, preventing foot ulcers from developing is a major, daily goal. Diabetic foot ulcers are the main cause of foot amputation in the U.S. Research shows that about half of the diabetic foot ulcers that do develop become infected. Twenty percent of those lead to amputation. And government statistics show that 70 percent of the people who have their feet amputated experience a rapid decline in their health. Many die within five years. Amputation can be very difficult to recover from psychologically, and it also tends to place a strain on your heart. 

New tools for prevention, early detection
Two new developments in foot care for people with diabetes will make it easier to know—early on—when an ulcer is likely to develop: 

  • A “smart shoe.”  The shoe would contain a sensor that uses fiber optic technology to monitor stress changes in the foot, and then apply the correct amount of pressure to that area to relieve the stress.
  • A thermometer for the bottom of the foot.  This special thermometer makes it easy to measure the temperature of the skin on the bottom of your feet. If either foot is warmer than 90 degrees, or if one foot is warmer than the other one, it’s time to call your doctor, because those are the signs that you’re developing an ulcer.

Be sure to talk with your diabetes educator or your doctor about when these new devices will be available to you, whether your insurance will cover any of the cost, etc. 

Routine, daily foot inspections still extremely important
There are many things doctors have been recommending for years for people with diabetes, and these things are as important now as they’ve ever been. They include: 

  • Check your shoes every time you put them on to make sure there aren’t any loose objects in them. If you have any nerve damage at all,  you may not be aware that something’s in there, which can result in a cut or sore.

  • Call your doctor if you notice changes in the skin color of your feet.
  • Call your doctor if you notice any swelling
  • Inspect your feet carefully every day. If you have any cuts or sores that haven’t improved within three days, call your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if you notice any numbness, burning or tingling
  • Bathe your feet every day in lukewarm water. Be sure to check the temperature of the water with your hand if you have nerve damage in your feet.
  • Use a moisturizer on your feet every day.
  •  Don’t soak your feet, because that tends to dry out the skin, which increases the chance that it will crack and develop a sore or cut.
  • Don’t go barefoot, even in the house.

Foot complications—an indication other problems may be present 

When people with diabetes begin to develop foot complications, that’s often a sign that other problems, such as heart disease, are present as well. If your diabetes has reached this point, your doctor may talk with you about starting medication that can help you manage heart disease. More frequent checks of your kidney function and your eyes may also become necessary.

Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, May/June 2005; The New York Times, “New Priority: Saving Feet of Diabetics,” 30 August 2005
follow us online
facebook youtube

Contact us
Home  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
Copyright ©2016 Mercy. Last modified 9/27/2010