When living with diabetes, it’s really important to take good care of your feet. Minor foot problems can quickly become serious medical issues when you have diabetes. Complications like nerve damage and swelling in your feet can make it harder to notice injuries and make it difficult for them to heal. When wounds aren’t treated properly they can become infected and lead to problems such as gangrene, or even amputation.
No matter the type of diabetes you have, you should carefully look after your feet to avoid injuries. Here are six of the most common diabetic foot issues you should look out for.
- Bunion – Progressive change in alignment of the toe joint. Base of toe extends beyond the normal profile of your foot.
- Callus – Area of thickened skin, produced by pressure or friction. Cracking can allow entry of bacteria, causing an infection.
- Corn (Hammer Toe) – Caused from external pressure in a small defined area. Bone putting pressure against skin.
- Toenails – Ingrown toenails result when the toenail grows into the flesh of the toe. Tissue around the nail becomes infected. Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discoloured, think and brittle, and may separate from the rest of the nail. In some cases the nail may crumble.
- Dry Skin – When blood glucose levels are high, fluid is lost and dehydration can lead to dry skin on the legs, feet, or elbows. Dry skin cracks and is easily infected.
- Ulcer – Anywhere on foot, often at site of injury or pressure. Loss of sensation (neuropathy) makes many diabetics vulnerable to this.
Visit your doctor as soon as you see these lesions. Don’t delay.