Spring diabetes footcare report

Spring has sprung, and summer’s a-coming, so it’s best feet forward for the sunny season. Here are some top tips for tootsies now the heat is on!

Keeping your feet healthy helps them look good and feel good as you dust off your sandals and flipflops. There is plenty you can do to look after your feet on a daily basis.

Allpresan Diabetic Foam Cream from GlucoRx is medically proven to be used safely on dry or cracked skin on the entire foot by anyone with diabetes offering protection from heel to toe. Richard Lane, the former president of Diabetes UK charity, replaced his usual cream with Allpresan for six months. Speaking of his experience, he said: “I can honestly say that I have noticed a distinct improvement in my feet in that they are not nearly as dry as they have historically been. It is the best, most effective cream that I have ever used.” £4.99 for 35ml. www.allpresan.uk.com

Diabetic feet are different because of the possibility that they have developed diabetic neuropathy, which leads to less effective sweat glands. Diabetics with neuropathy are eleven times more at risk of ulceration if callused skin is present on the foot. Ulcers are serious and difficult to treat. Dermatonics Once Heel Balm has been specifically designed to address calloused skin with visible results in just 24 hours and ongoing treatment of a once-a-day application. As many as 99% of those on a trial found all dry skin was removed after 8 days, while 9 out of 10 people love the smell! NICE Guidance NG19 says that every diabetic with callused skin on a foot is entitled to a free prescription to treat the skin as callused skin is listed by NG19 as a risk factor for ulceration, so GPs can prescribe a cream indicated to remove callus. In many cases this will only happen if the patients are sufficiently ‘in the know’ to ask for it. £5.99 for 75ml. www.dermatonics.co.uk

Toe-tally fabulous

New shoes, tight shoes, playing sports, walking, dancing – they can all cause sore, unsightly blisters which make walking painful. Spray an even layer of Blistop on to clean, dry skin in the areas where blisters may occur and leave it to dry. Blistop forms a protective, water-resistant ‘second skin’ which acts as a barrier between the footwear and skin so you can feel confident and pain-free all day. Take it with you when you go out and if you have missed a vulnerable spot, apply it at the first sign of friction. Blistop can be used on all areas of unbroken skin on the feet, including soles, heels and big toes. Blistop is invisible, so no need for plasters, bulky insoles or cushioning. You can use it with any type of footwear from trainers to fashion shoes and delicate sandals and no one need know your secret. Flexitol Blistop comes in a 32.5ml CFC-free can giving 50 applications. It retails at just £5.99 and is available from retailers nationwide.

Scholl can help take care of ‘sensitive’ soles and support the natural alignment of your feet with Scholl Orthaheel Sensitive Feet orthotic. Made using unique Glidesoft technology, designed to absorb friction when walking, thereby reducing the risk of ulceration. The technology consists of six different layers, each hand stitched with a silk-rubber band to allow movement within each layer. The orthotic also alleviates many aches and pains in the foot and ankle by realigning the foot to its natural angle and redistributing the pressure across the whole of the foot, providing additional foot comfort. Prices vary, but expect to pay around £20.

People tend to think about their feet more in the summer because they’re on show more. Scholl’s Toe Nail Conditioner for dry, brittle or flaky nails increases the hydration and hence the flexibility of nails (from £4.99 from chemists). Available to buy at Boots and other pharmacies as well as www.scholl.co.uk
If you feet are a bit whiffy, it’s because your feet have around 250, 00 sweat glands. Natural foot bacteria plus hot, sweaty shoes can lead to strong scents! Odor-Eaters Sport Foot and Shoe Spray should help. £3.69 (150ml) from Boots and other retailers. Speaking of sports, the other thing that might affect your feet, specifically in between your toes, is what’s commonly known as athletes foot. This is a fungal infection and it won’t clear up by itself. So if you get red, flaky skin that’s itchy, try Daktarin Aktiv Spray Powder £4.39 for 100g.

Foot risk report
The National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA) 2014-2016, was published by NHS Digital and Diabetes UK in April. Commenting upon it, Diabetes UK Chief Executive Chris Askew says, “Good quality foot care for people with diabetes is vital. People with diabetes are entitled to an annual review where their feet are checked. They find out about their risk of developing a foot problem and how to look after their feet to avoid problems. However in many areas of the country, people with diabetes and their GPs do not know about where to go for the best specialist treatment. Information about local services is sadly lacking and in some areas specialist foot services aren’t being commissioned. Every Clinical Commissioning Group in the country needs to ensure they’re providing adequate foot services and information about where they’re located. People with diabetes need the right care in the right place at the right time.”

The National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA) 2014-2016, published by NHS Digital and Diabetes UK, collected data on 11,000 individuals with acute diabetic foot ulcers. It is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). Read the full report at: http://www.digital.nhs.uk/pubs/ndfa1516

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