People with diabetes have a lot to manage. They need to check their blood sugar, eat healthy, exercise, take medicines on time, and schedule doctor’s visits. The last thing on their mind is foot care. But foot care is particularly important for a person with diabetes because if left unheeded, it can cause complications.
People with diabetes are prone to poor blood circulation or peripheral vascular disease, as well as nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy. Poor blood circulation results in slow healing and diabetic neuropathy causes loss of sensation wherein the person may not feel pain. Combined, these two problems could cause complications if not detected in time.
Common Foot Problems Associated with a Diabetic Condition
Many common foot problems that can be treated easily can become complicated for a person with a diabetic condition as it can go undetected initially and healing is also slow.
Athlete’s Foot – Caused by a fungus, symptoms include itching, redness and cracking. If infected, it could cause problems.
Nail Problems – Fungus can infect nails in a person with diabetes, causing them to become thick and brittle. Injuries to nails can also lead to a fungal infection. Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of the nail cuts into the skin causing redness, swelling, pain and infection.
Calluses and Corns – This build-up of hard skin, usually on the underside of the foot can be caused by poorly fitting shoes, skin problems or obesity. If not treated in time, it could open up and cause infections.
Blisters – Blisters form when shoes rub the same spot on the foot. Wearing ill-fitting shoes or sandals is the main cause of foot blisters. Blisters can break leading to possible infections in wounds.
Dry Skin – Cracked dry skin can open up giving rise to infections. This is more common among the elderly and people who live in cold, dry climates.
Diabetic Ulcers – A foot ulcer is a deep sore that can become infected. It can be caused by scrapes, cuts or blisters and is one of the more serious foot complications for people with diabetes.
Proper foot care and hygiene can prevent these common foot problems. Consulting a podiatrist in Los Altos every 2 to 3 months can help keep foot problems at bay.