Mercy Health's Wound Care Centers Share Six Steps for Proper Foot Care to Mark April's Foot Health Awareness Month

(CINCINNATI; March 30, 2016) – Mercy Health - Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, notes that April serves as Foot Health Awareness Month - a good time to highlight the importance of foot health.

People with diabetes should be especially concerned with the health of their feet. An estimated 29.1 million people (9.3 percent of the population) have diabetes and nearly 28 percent of these are undiagnosed.

Diabetes can affect the nerves, causing nerve damage for some people. When this happens, the nerves no longer perceive pain due to numbness and therefore do not alert a person to potentially dangerous injuries.

For people living with diabetes, a poor defense against infection and damage to blood circulation can complicate problems with the feet causing them to become more vulnerable to injury.

In 2010, surgeons performed about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations on adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes. This accounts for 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. People with an amputation have a 50 percent mortality rate within five years.

Diabetes-related amputations may result from chronic wounds caused by diabetes, especially diabetic foot ulcers. Experts estimate that 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer.

The doctors and care teams at Mercy Health’s Wound Care Centers, part of the Healogics network, recommend diabetics follow these six steps for proper foot care:
1. Check your feet for sores or other injuries every day. You may have an injury but cannot feel the pain.
2. Wash your feet every day and dry them with care, especially between the toes.
3. Trim your toenails as needed after you've washed and dried your feet.
4. Wear shoes that fit properly and that do not rub or pinch your feet.
5. Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes and never walk barefoot or while wearing just socks.
6. Physical activity can help increase circulation in your feet. Consult your healthcare team to see which physical activity is right for you.

For more information about proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers or how we may be able to help avoid amputation, contact the Mercy Health Wound Care Centers located at:
• Mercy Health - Clermont Hospital 513-735-8924
• Mercy Health - Fairfield Hospital 513-774-2880
• Mercy Health - West Hospital  513-215-5030
• The Jewish Hospital - Mercy Health 513-686-5757