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Diabetic foot care can prevent ulcers and amputations - podiatrist

A wound on the foot can quickly become a serious health risk, particularly for people living with diabetes.

Diabetes has the ability to increase the risk of chronic or non-healing wounds, and there is a strong link between the disease and the health of someone's feet.

Expert podiatrist Brandon Maggen says diabetic foot wounds can have serious implications.

People are at risk of literally losing their feet, their livelihoods, income and health.

Brandon Maggen, National Chair of the Podiatry Association of South Africa

According to Maggen, treating the diabetic foot costs more than the top five most costly forms of cancer combined.

He says the average time to heal a wound or ulcer on the foot of a diabetic patient takes anywhere between 3 moths - 6 years, depending on where you live.

Diabetic foot can present circulatory and neurological complications, Maggen explains.

Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • ulcers
  • deformity
  • loss of sensation
  • change in movement of feet
  • dry skin on feet
  • clawed toes
  • change in foot arch
  • excessive sweating

Maggen explains that the prevention of diabetic foot lies in the control of diet and glucose (sugar).

He advises that people with calluses and other foot concerns should seek professional help from a podiatrist and have a full diabetic check.

Listeners called in with their questions about all things foot-care:

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