Patient Education

Printer-Friendly Patient Education Brochure with instructions for printing to create personalized booklets health care providers can give to patients (PDF-164 KB)

It is well documented that diabetes is generally a self-managed disease with patients providing most of their own daily care. It has been shown that patients who are empowered with awareness of their own disease-related problems, treatment options, and tools for self-care make healthier choices in the management of their diabetes. In a LEAP study appearing in the January 1998 issue of Diabetes Care titled, "Evaluation of a Self-Administered Sensory Testing Tool to Identify Patients at Risk of Diabetes-Related Foot Problems", the authors reported that 87% of the patients who participated in the study obtained the correct results as documented by their primary care provider.

LEAP recommends that individuals with diabetes should be screened for loss of protective sensation on an annual basis. LEAP recommends that patients who believe they have discovered a loss of sensation should see their provider as soon as possible.

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Corn and callous care: Rub gently with a dry towel. Do NOT use corn plasters. If you have corn or callous buildup, go to the foot clinic monthly to have them trimmed. Have your feet checked EVERY TIME you see your doctor.Check your feet every day, top and bottom. Use proper lighting, and a mirror if necessary. You may need someone to help you in examining the bottom of your feet.
Nail care: Cut toenails straight across. Smooth the edges with an Emery board. Do Not use razor blades, scissors or knives. Check between your toes for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, dry skin and cracks. Call your clinic to report a problem.
Skin care: Check bathwater temperature with elbow before using. Wash feet every day, pat dry with a towel. Dry between your toes. Check inside shoes before wearing them. Wear clean socks with no holes, seams, wrinkles or mendings. DO NOT wear plastic flip flops or pointy toed shoes. Do not walk barefooted!
Shoe selection: wear shoes that fit your feet. There should be a thumbs' width between the end of the shoe and the end of the tow. Make sure someone measures your foot for you. Don't rely on how the shoe "feels." Have the health care professional check your shoes BEFORE you wear them. Treat skin with an appropriate lotion. Keep your feet warm using socks. DO NOT use a heating pad, hot water bottle; do not soak your feet.

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2017


Hansen's Disease

National Hansen's Disease Museum

Diagnosis & Management

Patient Information

Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention

Research

National Hansen's Disease Clinical Center

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Training for Health Professionals

History of the Hansen's Disease Program

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National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program - Caring & Curing Since 1894

More Information on LEAP

LEAP Foot Screen (PDF - 222 KB)

Patient Education (PDF - 1.92 MB)

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