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Diabetes care in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire

Checking your feet

People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot problems, but spending a little time checking your feet daily and taking care to avoid injury to your feet can help keep them healthy and reduce the risk of damage.

Inspecting your feet

Look at the tops and bottoms of your feet and between each of your toes. If you have difficulty bending, use a mirror to check the bottoms or ask someone to help you.

Check your feet for abnormalities for example: blisters, cuts, corns, ingrown toenails, signs of infection, and for any white, moist, wrinkly skin, especially between the toes.

If you think the skin of your feet feels a bit hot, and it may look a little red, this may mean something is causing an infection or inflammation. If you have nerve damage in your feet, you may have little or no pain to make you aware these problems. If you are worried at all, you should ask your healthcare professional to check your feet as soon as possible.

Foot screening for people with diabetes

Professionals who are experts in foot care are called podiatrists. Our podiatrists see all newly-diagnosed diabetic patients for foot screening, checking for any signs of problems.

Podiatrist examining the feet of a person with diabetesYour GP or practice nurse will refer you for your first appointment. If everything appears to be ok, you are at low risk of developing problems at that time. You will be advised about general foot care and how to check your feet, but you won’t be offered a follow-up appointment unless the podiatrist finds some problems. If he does - for example, loss of sensation, reduced blood flow, dry skin or minor ulceration - then he will see you regularly.

Those patients who are found to have more serious foot problems will be seen  in the multi-disciplinary clinic at The Royal Berkshire Hospital by the Foot Protection Team. Most patients with foot problems canremain at home; however if the problem becomes serious, they may have to be admitted to hospital for more intensive treatment.

It is really important to check your feet regularly, to reduce any risk that you may develop an infected wound and become very unwell.

If you notice a problem with your feet, (eg ulcers, numbness), you must contact your GP straight away; or the Out of Hours medical team if a problem occurs in the evening or at a weekend.

If you would like to read more about foot care and foot wear, our local team of podiatrists have written this information sheet giving more information and advice:

Other sources of information that you may like to read include: