Common Foot Issues
One of the most common complications of diabetes is a foot problem. This happens for several reasons.
Diabetes can cause poor circulation to the feet, making them vulnerable to injury. Also, nerve damage can make the feet less sensitive and easier to injure. Finally, changes associated with diabetes can damage the skin and bones of the feet. If you are diagnosed with diabetes-related foot problems, you should see a podiatrist yearly. People with diabetes need to watch out for these foot problems:
- Calluses and corns- These are thick patches of skin on the feet and toes.
- Foot ulcers- These are sores on the feet or legs, which can become infected.
- Nerve damage- This can reduce the ability to sense pain in the feet, making injury more likely.
- Poor circulation- This can lead to frequent foot infections, and make healing more difficult. In some cases, blood flow to the foot is totally blocked, leading to gangrene and the need for amputation.
If you have diabetes, you need to inspect your feet every day. Look for broken skin, spots that are red and hot, and crusted nails. Seek medical help right away if you spot a problem.
It's also a good idea to wash your feet every day. If the skin of your feet is dry, moisten it by putting lotion on after a shower or bath. Don't apply lotion between the toes, because extra moisture there can lead to skin breakdown and infection.
Wear shoes and socks at all times to avoid injury, and make sure you have well-fitting shoes. Have calluses treated by a professional. If you've been told you have nerve damage or poor circulation to your feet, you should also have a professional cut your toenails. See a podiatrist (foot specialist) at least once a year, or more often if necessary.
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