When diabetes is uncontrolled, it can damage the nerves in your feet. If your nerves are damaged you might not feel heat, cold, or pain. The lack of feeling in your feet is called “sensory diabetic neuropathy”. If you do not feel a wound, a cut or a sore, or any type of ulcer on your foot because of neuropathy, they could get worse and get infected. Having diabetic neuropathy can also cause the muscles in your foot to not work properly because the nerves are damaged. The person with this condition may not notice that their foot is not aligned properly and create too much pressure on the other side of their foot.
Signs of Diabetic Feet
- Changes in skin color - When the bruise's color ranges from purple to green to yellow during the course of its healing.
- Changes in skin temperature - Loss of sense of touch or ability to feel heat or cold very well.
- Swelling in the foot or ankle -Tingling, burning, or pain in your feet. Swelling is often more apparent in the lower areas of the body because of gravity.
- Pain in the legs - feeling cramps in your buttocks, thighs, calves, or lower part of your body during physical activity. You may have a hard time walking or doing activities because of the pain you will feel in your legs, in other cases
- Wounds and sores on the feet that are not healing at a normal pace - Wounds in your feet are healing slower and become infected. Wounds or sores that take more time to heal might be infected and require medical treatment.
- Ingrown toenails or toenails infected with fungus - Fungus infections such as athlete’s foot between your toes and blister, sore, ulcer, infected corn, or ingrown toenail. Your toenails can also become yellow and thick.
- Corns or calluses - These are thick and hardened skin that usually grows on your feet, toes, and fingers. This can affect the way your feet will look and work.
- Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel - also called heel fissures, when the skin on the bottom of your heel becomes hard and dry. You may also notice that your skin gets flaky or crusty. When the skin gets very dry, cracks or fissures can form.
- Foot odor that is unusual or won't go away- also called bromodosis It is sometimes considered to be an unpleasant smell. You can develop foot odor for a long time and in some cases, it may not go away. Get an appointment with your doctor if this happens.
Diabetic Feet Care Tips
Here are some pointers on how you can take care of your feet and keep them healthy, whether you have diabetes or not.
- Check your feet every day. Have a schedule when you can check your feet daily for the following:
- cuts, sores, or red spots
- ingrown toenails
- corns or calluses, which are spots of rough skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot
- Clean your feet properly. Bathe your feet in lukewarm, never hot water, and pat them dry gently. You may moisturize your feet but not too much and not in between your toes.
- Check your toenails for ingrown nails. Have a professional nail technician or a foot doctor, also known as a podiatrist, remove ingrown nails. Be sure to have your own tools if you go to a nail technician and remind them not to cut too close to the cuticles.
- Protect your feet. You can do this by wearing the proper socks and shoes. There are socks made specifically for diabetic feet. Never go barefoot. And if choosing an exercise, make sure you select feet-friendly activities, such as walking or swimming. You can check with your doctor which practices are appropriate for you.
- Always promote proper blood circulation. Make sure that you put your feet up when sitting and move your toes for a few minutes several times throughout the day.