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If one foot’s hot and the other’s not, you might be developing a foot ulcer. Research published in the January 2007 issue of Diabetes Care showed that an infrared temperature-monitoring tool can reveal developing diabetic foot ulcers.
The study randomly assigned 173 people with a previous history of diabetic foot ulceration to 15 months in one of three groups: standard, structured examination, and enhanced. Everybody received therapeutic footwear, diabetic foot education, and regular foot care. All subjects were told to contact a nurse immediately in the event of any abnormality.
The structured group members performed daily foot examinations and recorded their findings in a logbook. People in the enhanced therapy group used an infrared skin thermometer to measure temperatures on six foot sites every day. If temperatures between right and left foot sites differed by more than four degrees, patients were instructed to see the nurse and reduce activity until the temperatures equalized.
The group with the infrared skin thermometer ended up with fewer foot ulcers than either of the other two groups. Patients in the standard and structured groups were 4.37 and 4.71 times more likely to develop ulcers than patients in the enhanced therapy group. The researchers concluded that infrared temperature home monitoring may serve as a useful early warning sign of foot ulcers.
Feb 22, 2007