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Optimal emollient treatment and prevention of diabetic foot complications

In the UK today, there are growing numbers of people with diabetes, with over 4 million people living with the condition and a further 900,000 undiagnosed. The cost of managing diabetic footcare in particular within the UK is significant, however, as a patient, the concern is on managing your condition and maintaining your quality of life.

Foot ulcers are associated with increased rates of amputation and mortality in people with diabetes. The majority of foot ulcers are preceded by callus formation. Therefore, effective treatment and prevention of callus will reduce the burden of foot ulcers in diabetes. Emollients are a commonly used topical treatment for hyperkeratosis/callus, but there is a lack of evidence regarding optimal use in diabetes foot care. 

A UK steering group met to review the current landscape of emollient use in the treatment and prevention of diabetic foot complications and identify key topics in the diabetes care pathway.

There was a high level of consensus on key recommendations to support the need for improved management of diabetes foot concerns (particularly hyperkeratosis) at the earliest point in order to reduce the incidence and consequences of diabetes foot ulcers. There is a clear need for the inclusion of the role of urea-based emollients in preventing foot ulcers in people with diabetes by effectively treating dry skin and hyperkeratosis. 

This studies key recommendations are offered in order to provide clinicians with guidance on the optimal emollient treatment and prevention of diabetes-related foot complications.


Download the paper (PDF,142KB)   or read more about it online.

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