Common Foot Problems in Diabetic Patients
Anyone can have corns, blisters, and other foot problems. But if you have diabetes and your blood glucose stays high, these foot problems can lead to severe infections and in some cases, amputation as well.
Corns and calluses are thick layers of skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot. Corns and calluses can become infected over time.
Blisters can form if shoes always rub the same spot. Wearing shoes that do not fit or wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters. Blisters can become badly infected if neglected.
Ingrown Toenails happen when an edge of the nail grows into the skin. The skin can get red and infected. Ingrown toenails can happen if you cut into the corners of your toenails when you trim them. You can also get an ingrown toenail if your shoes are too tight. If toenail edges are sharp, smooth them with an emery board.
A Bunion forms when your big toe slants toward the small toes and the place between the bones near the base of your big toe grows big. This spot can get red, sore, and infected. Bunions can form on one or both feet and are often hereditary. Pointed, tight or ill-fitting shoes can lead to formation of bunions. Surgery can remove bunions.
Plantar Warts are caused by a virus. The warts usually form on the bottoms of the feet.
Hammertoes form when a foot muscle gets weak. The weakened muscle makes the tendons in the foot shorter and makes the toes curl under the feet. You may get sores on the bottoms of your feet and on the tops of your toes. The feet can change their shape. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and finding shoes that fit well. Hammertoes can run in the family. Wearing shoes that are too short can also cause hammertoes.
Dry and cracked skin can happen because the nerves in your legs and feet do not get the message to keep your skin soft and moist. Cracks allow germs to enter and cause infection. If your blood glucose is high, it feeds the germs and makes the infection worse.
Athlete’s Foot is a fungus that causes itchiness, redness, and cracking of the skin. In this case as well, the cracks between the toes allow germs to get under the skin and cause infection. High blood glucose feeds the germs and worsens the infection, which can then spread to the toenails and make them thick, yellow, and hard to cut.
To protect your feet from injury and infection, always wear shoes or slippers.
Inspect the soles and inside your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on.
Shoes should always be properly measured to be comfortable and easy to put on.
Wear leather shoes with adequate room for the toes.
Running or athletic shoes are best for recreational walking.
Always wear well-fitted seamless socks with your shoes.
Padded socks may reduce pressure and be more protective.