Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Unfortunately, there are many other conditions that are potential complications of diabetes. Common complications of diabetes include foot problems like neuropathy, corns, calluses, and athlete’s foot.
When a person has diabetes, the circulation of blood to the feet is impaired. This lack of proper circulation means that the feet are not able to heal as quickly as they should. Issues that would be considered minor in a healthy person, like a cut or corn, can be quite serious in a diabetic. Cuts, blisters, and corns can lead to infection and even gangrene.
Foot Problems in Diabetics
Diabetics often develop athlete’s foot. A diabetic person has a higher concentration of blood sugar, which makes their perspiration sweeter. This encourages the growth of fungus, leading to athlete’s foot.
Neuropathy is a severe complication of diabetes. Neuropathy means that the nerves are damaged. The high blood sugar level can damage the walls of the blood vessels that feed the nerves in the legs. The nerve damage lessens the patient’s ability to sense pain in the legs and feet, and patients may not notice problems with their feet because of the lack of sensation. The feet might feel numb or tingly. If a patient who has diabetic neuropathy develops a cut or injury to the foot, the injury may go unnoticed and develop into a severe infection.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that affects the feet, particularly around the toes. It is usually caused by the feet being sweaty or wet, which allows the fungus to grow.
Athlete’s foot looks like flaky, scaly patches of skin. It is usually present between the toes, where there is less air flow and fungus can easily grow. It most commonly occurs between the fourth and fifth toes. The skin might also crack. The skin might feel itchy, although that is not always the case. There is typically no odor associated with athlete’s foot.
If athlete’s foot is not treated, the infection can become severe. It can spread throughout the feet and legs, and can eventually develop into gangrene.
Diabetes & Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is of particular concern for diabetics. Diabetics have weakened immune and circulatory systems. When athlete’s foot is present, the skin becomes prone to cuts and abrasions. This encourages the growth of bacteria, and a skin infection known as cellulitis can develop. Signs of cellulitis include the following:
- Tightening of the skin
If cellulitis progresses without treatment, the skin can turn black and the tissue can die. If you have any signs of cellulitis, it is imperative to see a doctor immediately.
Any untreated infection in a diabetic is hazardous. The progression of an infection, even an infection that started as a minor cut or fungal infection, can lead to amputation.
Diabetic Care for Feet
If you have diabetes, you should take special care of your feet. First, be sure to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor and follow dietary restrictions in order to control your blood sugar. In addition, take the following foot care precautions.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the feet daily.
- Trim the toenails regularly.
- Check the feet for redness, swelling, cuts, or abrasions.
If you are diabetic, your feet are a special priority. Stop by Foot Solutions UK. We will help you to ensure that you have proper supportive footwear to keep your feet in great condition. Visit Foot Solutions UK today.