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Looking after your legs
Our legs and feet do a lot for us but often they don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s really important that we keep an eye on our lower legs and feet. Look out for small changes and seek advice early from you GP or Practice nurse. Now your legs have healed here are some advice and tips to help you look after your legs.
Tips for looking after your legs
Keep them clean and dry
If you can’t reach your feet there are a variety of small aids which can be purchased privately from chemists and other retailers/disabled living companies. If you are struggling to manage your personal care, including accessing your bath and shower, please contact your local Neighbourhood Teams on 0300 123 7593 who will be able to
Keep them moisturised
Emollient creams such as Cetraben, E45, Zerobase, Dermol 500, Diprobase (and many more) can be purchased over the counter. Please ask you Pharmacist for advice. Apply them daily to keep your skin from drying out, always read the label for guidance and avoid the use of lanolin based or perfumed products
Wear your prescribed support stockings
New stockings obtained via prescription every six months. Do not wear if they have a hole in them. Devices are available to purchase if you are struggling to get stockings on.
Keep mobile by doing exercises that have been recommended for you, walking as you are able. Walking within your capabilities is good for your legs. Partake in leg and foot exercises as directed by your Healthcare Professional.
Elevate your legs as much as possible
Take your medication regularly if it has been prescribed by your GP, including pain relief along with water tablets, as having swollen legs along with being in pain may prevent you from keeping mobile.
Get to know what’s normal for you; here are some things to look out for:
- New or increased swelling.
- Sores, ulcers or wounds that are not healing, after 1 week.
- New tiredness, throbbing and painful legs.
- Varicose veins – are they new or existing ones more painful?
- New dry, itchy and scaly skin.
- New or increased reddish brown staining above the ankle.
- New cramp or pain during or after walking.
- Hot, inflamed and tender skin.
- If you have a leg injury with a deep cut. Are unable to walk or put weight on your leg. Have pain, swelling, redness or warmth in your calf.
It’s not just your legs and feet that can be affected by leg and foot conditions. They can have a big impact on your everyday life. Something as simple as a small knock or scratch can turn into a non-healing wound or ulcer that can be very painful and affect your ability to do things like go to work or carry out everyday tasks.
These wounds can also have a big impact on your mental health and wellbeing. The good news is that most leg and foot problems can get better if they are seen and treated early.
If your legs are getting worse and not better?
- Have you noticed a change in your current condition?
- You have an injury to your leg that caused a skin tear or a painful bruise?
- Your legs are more swollen, painful, hotter and red than usual?
- Your mobility has got worse and you are struggling to get out of your chair or bed and unable to walk safely.
Who to contact for more information
- Please contact your GP and ask for a Practice Nurse for advice on the above.
- For out of hours call 111.
- For housebound patients only please call the Worcestershire Neighbourhood Teams on 0300 123 7593.