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Diabetic Foot Care


This term is used to describe foot problems that stem from diabetes. These problems can be difficult to treat.


Diabetic Foot Care

Causes & Triggers

Diabetes changes your body in ways that can cause diabetic foot. It can damage your nervous system, which can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. You may not feel hot, cold or painful sensations. You could injure your foot without realizing it. Diabetes can also damage your circulatory system. This results in poor blood flow to your feet. It makes it harder for your body to fight off disease. With diabetes, you may not notice a small cut or sore on your foot, and it can become severely infected.

  • Loss of feeling or inability to feel pain, heat or cold in feet and legs
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Poor circulation and blood flow

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms associated with nerve and circulation problems may include sensations of pain or new or lasting numbness. Your skin may become hard and shiny. Hair may stop growing on your legs and feet. You may have trouble walking. If you have a foot infection, you may have swelling, redness and warm skin. You may develop open sores. You may have fever and chills. You may notice red streaks on your skin that spread away from the infection.

  • Calluses, blisters, cracking skin
  • Foot ulcers, usually on the bottom of the big toe or ball of foot
  • Improper healing of sores and infection

Tips & Treatment

Treatment options depend on the severity of your problems. A healthier lifestyle can help keep your diabetes in control. You may benefit from a change in footwear and from better foot hygiene. Inspect your feet daily, and have regular foot exams to take care of minor problems before they become major ones. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.

  • Maintain blood pressure, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Perform a daily self-check of feet; see a medical professional regularly.
  • Keep feet cleaned and well cared for, according to physician instructions.
  • Immediately tend to blisters, corns, cracks, sores, fungal or toenail infections.
  • Refrain from smoking as it promotes poor blood flow.
  • Call your physician at the first sign of infection or ulcer.

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