Foot problems are extremely common in people living with diabetes. Over 70 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from some sort of podiatry complication. Whether it's pain, poor circulation, neuropathy (nerve damage), or skin problems, diabetic foot problems need to be strictly monitored to prevent grim consequence.
Basic foot wounds are some of the most easily neglected conditions that diabetes patients suffer from. Although non-diabetics may think a simple cut or blister isn’t a real concern, poor circulation and high blood glucose levels can cause a simple injury to become a dangerously infected wound at no time at all, thanks to a common diabetic ailment known as neuropathy.
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can cause the loss of feeling in the foot, preventing the injured from even knowing there is a problem. If that problem goes unattended, it can become infected. Therefore, diabetics need to be wary of even the simplest skin problem to avoid serious consequences.
Common Diabetic Foot Wounds
The most common diabetic foot wounds and sores result from the following:
- Calluses. Calluses occur often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes as a result of high-pressure areas under the foot. If not trimmed and treated, calluses get very thick, break down, and turn into painful and dangerous ulcers.
- Blisters. Blisters are a significant problem for many diabetics, as nerve damage can prevent them from noticing when their shoes rub against their skin. Although blisters can occur on both diabetic and non-diabetic patients, the risk of infection is greater for diabetics. Since diabetics may not know the blister is there, it could grow and eventually pop, allowing bacteria inside the wound.
- Foot ulcers. Ulcers are open wounds that occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Even if the wound doesn’t hurt, every ulcer should be seen by a medical professional and treated to prevent infection.
- Infections. Any type of wound that punctures the skin is susceptible to infection. Unfortunately, the skin on the feet is extremely susceptible to bacterial infections as the feet regularly come in contact with the dirty ground, soiled shoes, and sweaty socks. A complicating factor is that persons with diabetes often have poor circulation and high glucose levels, which make it difficult to fight infections. If the infection isn’t controlled, it can spread deeper into the skin and muscles to cause gangrene. Severe foot infections can even result in the need for the foot or leg to be amputated.
Putting Your Feet in the Right Hands
The best way to ensure good foot health is to routinely see an experienced and trustworthy podiatrist. We know that constantly checking your feet can be tedious, and that the many other issues you deal with daily may push the importance of that routine to the back of your mind. We completely understand.
No one wants to have to check their feet for sores. Fortunately, we do! We love our jobs, and we love making our patients healthy and stress-free.
Routine foot check-ups are essential for proper diabetes care, and we pride ourselves in giving you the best care we can offer. Don’t allow a simple blister to cost you your foot. Make an appointment today and see why you and your feet will be in good hands.