Diabetic foot ulcers are the leading cause of foot amputations.
Risk factors for foot ulcers include:
- Poorly fitting shoes
- Foot deformity
- High blood pressure
- Having a previous foot ulcer
- Barefoot walking
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the feet)
Properly fitting shoes are the number one way to prevent foot ulcers:
- Avoid flip flops, high heels, stiff dress shoes, and open-toed shoes
- Choose shoes that have plenty of toe room, a smooth inner lining, and a sole thick enough to prevent a puncture wound if you step on a tack or nail, for instance
- Always wear socks to prevent cuts
Take a moment each day to look at your feet. If you aren’t able to see your feet, ask a family member or caretaker to check them for you. If you notice a callous, blister, drainage on your sock, or an area of redness, contact your health care provider.