Left unchecked, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious foot health problems, such as gangrene, which require amputation.
Fortunately, many people can avoid these types of problems by taking simple steps every day to keep their feet as healthy as possible.
Diabetes affects more than 25 million nationwide. High blood glucose can damage many parts of the body, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. It can also lead to feet and skin problems.
Common diabetic foot problems that can lead to infections include:
- Corns and calluses – thick layers of skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure.
- Blisters – formed by wearing shoes without socks or ill-fitting footwear.
- Ingrown toenails – created by trimming nails that cut into the corners of the nail or wearing tight shoes.
- Bunions – caused by wearing pointed shoes and heredity.
- Plantar Warts – most often found on the bottom of feet, caused by a virus.
- Hammertoes – caused by weak foot muscle, diabetic nerve damage.
- Dry and cracked skin – can allow germs to enter and cause infection.
- Athlete’s Foot – fungal infection that can lead to itchiness, redness and cracked skin.
To help people prevent complications, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends the following health guidelines:
- Report any foot problems to your doctor.
- Have an annual foot exam.
- Learn how to properly trim toenails.
- Make sure you rinse and dry your feet completely.
- Keep your skin moist.
- Drink fluids to help keep skin moist and healthy.
- Report any skin problems to your doctor.
Remember to ask your doctor to assess your blood flow to your legs and feet. It is also important to check to see how well the nerves in your feet can sense feeling.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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