Foot complications from diabetes can often lead to more serious health issues and infection if not addressed early. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the most common diabetic foot issues and how to prevent them.
Those who have had diabetes for a long time are more susceptible to develop neuropathy, as well as those who are not effectively managing their weight or maintaining proper blood sugar levels.
Peripheral neuropathy, in particular, is nerve damage that affects the feet and legs. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, burning, and pain.
Diabetic neuropathy, or diabetic nerve damage: This condition is caused by rising blood sugar levels that harm delicate nerve tissue.
Calluses, corns, and blisters: If someone has an uneven gait or wears ill-fitting footwear, issues such as corns, calluses, or blisters can develop.
Fungal infections and Athlete’s foot: Germs can get in through cracks in the skin and cause fungal infections like Athlete’s foot which results in dry, red, itchy feet or brittle, discolored, thick toenails.
Bunions and hammertoes: Toe issues such as bunions or hammertoes are also common due to diabetic neuropathy.
A few tips to ensure you’re taking good care of your feet when you have diabetes include:
Examine your feet frequently. Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, calluses or any of the other conditions mentioned above.
Wear proper shoes and socks. Avoid ill-fitting shoes, sandals, and flip-flops and choose socks that fit well and do not slide down or bunch up around the toes.
Test water temperatures before washing. Nerve damage from diabetes means you may not be able to judge how hot or cold the water in your tub is before stepping in.
Keep skin moisturized. If the skin on your feet seems dry, use a good moisturizer to keep it properly lubricated. However, avoid putting lotion between your toes.
Get the blood flowing to your feet. When you’re relaxing, make sure to keep the blood to your feet flowing by elevating them for a while when sitting.
Live a healthy lifestyle. Make healthy food choices, exercise often and quit unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive drinking.
If you have any diabetic foot complications that won’t seem to heal or seem to be getting worse, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.