Common Foot Issues for Diabetics - Suffolk Foot and Ankle

Common Foot Issues for Diabetics

Common Foot Issues for Diabetics

Diabetics must care for their feet much more than those who don’t suffer from this condition. The risk of having foot issues is much higher for those who battle high blood sugar. The following are some of the most common foot issues for diabetics and how to prevent them.

Diabetic Neuropathy

When diabetes is uncontrolled, it can damage your nerves. These nerves in your legs and feet can lead to not being able to feel anything in lower extremities, such as cold, heat or pain. When people do not feel anything in the legs or feet, they are at risk of suffering from hyperthermia, burns, or infections due to cuts, scrapes, etc. The other consequence of neuropathy is that the muscles may not work properly. This can cause the person to put too much pressure on one area of the foot, and that can cause a foot ulcer.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

High blood sugar can affect the way blood flows through the veins. When blood doesn’t flow properly, it can cause problems with healing. This means a cut or sore may take a very long time to go away increasing the chances of infection. When the infection isn’t treated or doesn’t go away as quickly as it should, it could lead to ulcers or gangrene. This is when the tissues in the body begin to die due to the lack of blood supply.

Athlete’s Foot

This condition is also referred to as foot fungus. It can cause itching, redness and cracking all over the feet. It is quite bothersome to people and can lead to an infection if not cared for with medication and keeping the feet clean.

Nail Fungus

The fungus can also affect the toenails. This can turn toenails yellow, brown or opaque. They may become thick and brittle as well. The only way to treat it is with medication (topical and oral). If the medication doesn’t work, a podiatrist may need to remove some of the damaged tissues, so it can receive the medication better.

Calluses

A callus is a build up of hard skin and can happen on the underside of the foot. Diabetics usually experience calluses on the bottoms of their feet because their weight isn’t distributed properly or their shoes don’t fit well. The best way to get rid of calluses is to use pumice stone after a shower or bath to remove the dead, hard skin and then wear shoes with insoles that protect the feet from stress. Medication is available to soften calluses, so they are easier to remove.

Corns, Blisters, Bunions

All of these are found on the foot, and are similar to having calluses. Treatment can be done at home, but it’s best to see a podiatrist for specific instructions due to the risk of infection. Medications can be prescribed to help treat these foot issues faster.

How to Prevent Foot Issues as a Diabetic

You can prevent foot issues when you suffer from diabetes. The following are some of the best ways to care for your feet:

  • Keep the feet clean.
  • Always wear shoes that fit well. They should not be too tight or too lose.
  • Check your feet daily for any wounds. If you see any, treat them with an antibacterial cream and cover it with a Band-Aid.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels in the range your doctor recommends.
  • Eat healthy foods and exercise daily.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed to reduce the chances of infection.
  • Schedule routine podiatrist appointments every two or three months.

Just because you suffer from diabetes, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer from foot problems. As long as you take care of your feet and consult with a podiatrist regularly, you don’t have to worry too much about dealing with foot issues.

Contact Suffolk Foot and Ankle in Suffolk County

If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Suffolk County, we can help. Our podiatrists’ offices are conveniently located in East Patchogue, Commack, Riverhead, and Medford. Call us today for a foot appointment at 631-604-4948.