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Cracked Feet Diabetes

Your Feet

Your Feet

Caring for your feet To protect your feet, you should always wear soft, well-fitted shoes that allow a little extra room since feet expand, or swell, later in the day and when warm. Shoes that are too tight can cause sores within just a few hours. Socks should be seamless. Diabetes and your feet People with diabetes have special reason to take good care of their feet. High blood glucose levels may make feet susceptible to injury and infection. This is because the protective sensation in the toes or feet – your “pain alarm system” may slowly disappear with long term high blood glucose levels. Diabetes Ireland are opening Care Centres. Cork City & Dublin North are open. There are more to come. We offer rapid-access, affordable Podiatry (Foot Care) services from these centres to treat people with a low to moderate risk thereby preventing complications that require the higher risk HSE services in hospitals. Our Podiatrists have extensive clinical experience. We stock a range of specialised Shoes, Socks and foot care products . During the sessions, we aim to teach you how to care for your feet. Visit our Care Centre page if you are located near to a centre. Learning good foot care Learning good foot care habits can prevent most foot problems. To ensure continuous foot care education tailored to your needs, it is important that you have a foot examination each year. You may be advised about foot care soon after you get diabetes, even if you have no current foot problems. You may think this is unnecessary at first but many problems can be avoided, if you establish a daily foot care routine early. Foot examinations every day Examine your feet every day and report problems immediately. Look for cuts and for changes in skin and nails. Check your feet in good light. Use a mi Continue reading >>

Dry Skin Alert: Foot Xerosis In Diabetic Patients

Dry Skin Alert: Foot Xerosis In Diabetic Patients

Diabetic wound management requires awareness, including knowing the signs and progression of xerosis – an abnormal dryness of skin. Patients with diabetes are prone to dry skin, particularly when blood glucose levels are running high. And as a clinician, one of the most common types of skin conditions you will see in your diabetic patients is xerosis, which is an abnormal dryness of the skin. This is just one reason why clinicians should routinely inspect the feet of diabetic patients. According to research, 82.1% of patients with diabetes had skin with dryness, cracks or fissures, which serves as a predictor of foot lesions. In addition, an unpublished survey of 105 consecutive patients with diabetes revealed that 75% had clinical manifestations of dry skin. This serves as further evidence that xerosis in diabetic patients is a threat to foot ulcers, and the more we know about the condition, the better we can treat and heal our patients. The Signs The most common characteristics of xerosis include excessively dry, rough, uneven and cracked skin. Other signs include: Possible raised or uplifted skin edges (scaling), desquamation (flaking), chapping, and pruritus. Excessive dryness and scaling on the heels and feet. Possible fissures (linear cracks in the skin) with hyperkeratotic tissue. Progression and Patterns The progression of xerosis follows a defined pattern that begins when the skin becomes dry and rough, with pronounced skin lines. As the condition progresses, you’ll see the development of superficial scaling, with fissuring and erythema. In severe cases, a crisscrossing pattern with superficial scaling is present. The skin becomes less elastic and loses both its flexibility and its ability to withstand trauma, which may result in skin breakdown and subseque Continue reading >>

Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips To Protect Yourself

Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips To Protect Yourself

Diabetes can mean double trouble for your feet. First, diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet, depriving your feet of oxygen and nutrients. This makes it more difficult for blisters, sores, and cuts to heal. And second, the diabetic nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness in your feet. When you can't feel cuts and blisters, you're more likely to get sores and infections. If you don't notice or treat the sores, they can become deeply infected, and lead to amputation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can also cause sharp pain in your feet. You may become excruciatingly sensitive to the lightest touch, like the sheets on your bed. Fortunately, a little TLC goes a long way in preventing foot problems from diabetes. Look over both feet carefully every day, and be sure you check between all of your toes. Blisters and infections can start between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they've become irritated or infected. If a physical challenge keeps you from checking your own feet, ask a family member to help. Wash both of your feet briefly each day with warm -- not hot -- water. You may not be able to feel heat with your feet, so test the water with your hands first. Avoid soaking too long in water, since waterlogged sores have a harder time healing. Dry your feet right away, and remember to dry gently between all of your toes. It's an investment worth making. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that turns into a sore that becomes infected and never heals. Buy better-fitting shoes, or try different socks, even at the most minor signs of redness or irritation, since you may not be able to feel when it's getting worse. Before buying or putting on the shoes check your shoes for rough seams, sharp e Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Some people with diabetes develop foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. This leaflet aims to explain why foot ulcers sometimes develop, what you can do to help prevent them, and typical treatments if one does occur. Why are people with diabetes prone to foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are more common if you have diabetes because one or both of the following complications develop in some people with diabetes: Reduced sensation of the skin on your feet. Narrowing of blood vessels going to the feet. Your nerves may not work as well as normal because even a slightly high blood sugar (glucose) level can, over time, damage some of your nerves (neuropathy). Read more about diabetic neuropathy. If you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing narrowing of the blood vessels (arteries), known as peripheral arterial disease. The arteries in the legs are quite commonly affected. This can cause a reduced blood supply (poor circulation) to the feet. Skin with a poor blood supply does not heal as well as normal and is more likely to be damaged. What increases the risk of developing foot ulcers? If you have reduced sensation to your feet (see above). The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes and the older you are. If your diabetes is poorly controlled. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to keep your blood sugar (glucose) level as near normal as possible. If you have narrowed blood vessels (arteries) - see above. The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes, the older you become and also if you are male. The risk also increases if you have any other risk factors for developing furring of the arteries. For example, if you smoke, do little physical activity, have a high cholesterol leve Continue reading >>

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

Chronically high blood sugar (glucose) levels can be associated with serious complications in people who have diabetes. The feet are especially at risk. Two conditions called diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can damage the feet (and other areas of the body) in people who have diabetes. What is diabetic neuropathy? Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called "sensory diabetic neuropathy" increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury. What is peripheral vascular disease? Diabetes is associated with poor circulation (blood flow). Inadequate blood flow increases the healing time for cuts and sores. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs. Poor blood flow increases the risk that infections will not heal. This, in turn, increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, which is tissue death that occurs in a localized area when there is an inadequate blood supply. What are common foot problems of people with diabetes? The following images show common foot problems that anyone can get; however, those with diabetes are at increased risk for serious complications associated with these conditions, including infection and even amputation. Athlete's foot Fungal infection of the feet is called athlete's foot. Cracked skin, itching, and redness are associated w Continue reading >>

Foot Care For Diabetics – Appendix D

Foot Care For Diabetics – Appendix D

Although not directly related to the normalization of blood sugars, this short but important section on foot care has been included because of the constant danger diabetes can present to the lower extremities. The incidence of limb-threatening ulcerations in diabetics is very high, affecting approximately one in six to seven patients. Nonhealing “diabetic” ulcers are the major cause of leg, foot, and toe amputations in this country, after traumatic injuries such as those occurring in motor vehicle accidents. These ulcerations do not occur spontaneously; they are always preceded by gradual or sudden injury to the skin by some external factor. Preventing such injuries can prevent their sad consequences. Virtually all diabetics who have experienced ongoing higher-than normal blood sugars for more than five years suffer some loss of sensitivity in their feet to pain, pressure, and temperature. This is because prolonged blood sugar elevation can injure and eventually destroy all sensory nerves in the feet (sensory neuropathy). Furthermore, the nerves that control the shape of the foot are likewise injured, with a resultant deformity that includes “claw” or “hammer” toes, high arch, and prominent heads of bones at the bases of the toes on the underside of the foot. The nerves that stimulate perspiration in the feet are also affected. This results in the classic dry, often cracked skin that we see on diabetic feet. Dry skin is both more easily damaged and slower to heal than is normal, moist skin, and cracks permit entry of infectious bacteria. Long term elevated blood sugar also may cause impairment of circulation in the major arteries of the legs, as well as in the minor arteries and small capillary blood vessels that supply the skin of the feet. In order to heal Continue reading >>

Signs Of Foot Problems

Signs Of Foot Problems

Prevention is the best medicine. Being able to identify signs of foot problems can go a long way in preventing complications. Have your health care professional check your feet AT LEAST one to two times per year or more if required. When to see your doctor If you have any corns (thick or hard skin on toes), calluses (thick skin on bottom of feet), in-grown toenails, warts or slivers, have them treated by your doctor or a foot care specialist (such as a podiatrist, chiropodist or experienced foot care nurse). Do not try to treat them yourself. If you have any swelling, warmth, redness or pain in your legs or feet, see your doctor or foot specialist right away. Have your bare feet checked by your doctor at least once a year. In addition, ask your doctor to screen you for neuropathy and loss of circulation at least once a year. Take your socks off at every diabetes-related visit to your doctor and ask him or her to inspect your feet. Know the signs Numb, painful or tingling? Control your blood glucose (sugar) levels. Have a health-care professional trim your toenails and care for the skin on your feet. Have your shoes professionally fitted. Changing shape? Avoid too much walking. Visit your health-care professional as soon as possible. Dry, callused or cracked? Do they have sores or blisters? Changes to your skin should be seen by a health-care professional. Wash a sore or blister with warm water; dry well, and cover with a bandage. See a health-care professional today. Please continue to check your feet every day for any changes or signs of injury. If you have answered YES to any of these questions, please see a health-care professional as soon as possible. Be sure to tell him/her that you have diabetes. Avoid using over-the-counter treatments unless directed to by a heal Continue reading >>

New Research Tries To Crack The Code Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

New Research Tries To Crack The Code Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

If you’re anything like me, when you hear “diabetic foot ulcers”, it doesn’t really hit home. You know what all of those words mean individually. You understand diabetes. You know what an ulcer is. You have a general idea that we’re dealing with something pretty uncomfortable. But then you Google image search “diabetic foot ulcers,” and the graphic pictures of the chronic open wounds found at the bottom of the foot is far more visceral than anything you were picturing in your head. At this point, I should probably give you time to actually check this for yourself. Go ahead. Google it. I’ll wait here. Pretty gruesome, right? But go beyond the harsh reality of the wound itself. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 15 percent of patients who develop diabetic foot ulcers will need to have some type of lower limb amputation as a result. These ulcers can double the risk of death compared to the risk associated with diabetes alone. A staggering 45 to 55 percent of diabetic foot ulcer patients will die within five years. “The mortality rate associated with diabetic foot ulcers is higher than the rate for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast cancer, or prostate cancer, which really puts this into context,” said Elizabeth Grice, PhD, a researcher and assistant professor in the department of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine. But diabetic foot ulcers don’t just double the risk. They can also double the cost of care. A recent study published by the American Diabetes Association found ulcer care adds between $9 billion and $13 billion dollars to the yearly costs associated with diabetes itself. The high-stakes health risks and cumbersome costs make treating diabetic foot ulcers a top priority. And two new pieces of research from Grice and her t Continue reading >>

Are Dry, Cracked Heels A Sign Of Diabetes?

Are Dry, Cracked Heels A Sign Of Diabetes?

Could painful, dry, cracked heels be a sign of a more serious problem than just an unsightly cosmetic issue? The answer is yes. While dry, cracked heels can be a result of a number of factors such as exposure to cold weather, dehydration, taking too long in a hot bath and/or shower, and using hard soaps, cracked heels could also be one of the first signs of diabetes or a thyroid problem. An underlying diabetic condition can cause sweat glands to malfunction as well as uncontrolled blood sugar levels. This can result in nerve damage in your feet, known as peripheral neuropathy, which restricts blood flow and circulation. Neuropathy increases your risk for dry skin and the occurrence of cracked heels. Cracked heels can also be a result of your thyroid failing to properly regulate hormones. The thyroid helps keep your metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, skeletal and nervous system development in check. When your thyroid malfunctions, your skin can dry out and cause skin on the heels of the feet to crack. There are many over-the-counter options to treat cracked heels and alleviate pain associated with them, such as lotion specifically formulated for feet and cracked heels. However, if your condition doesn’t improve after trying an at-home treatment, you should consider making an appointment with your podiatrist to your heels evaluated. Remember, open cracks or fissures can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause an infection, leading to further health complications. If you’re ready to request an appointment with one of our podiatrists, click here! You can also call any of our three office locations conveniently located in the Piedmont Triad. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care Article

Diabetic Foot Care Article

A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet

Diabetes And Your Feet

If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day—even if they feel fine—and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal. There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications. Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. Feeling No Pain Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early. Risk Factors Anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, but these factors increase your risk: Nerve damage, along with poor circulation—another diabetes complication—puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well. If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your life. When you check your feet every day, you can catch problems early Continue reading >>

Providing Relief For Dry And Cracked Skin On The Diabetic Foot

Providing Relief For Dry And Cracked Skin On The Diabetic Foot

Issue Number: Volume 17 - Issue 8 - August 2004 Patients with diabetes may face a broad range of potential complications, including cracked and dry skin on their feet. Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes, it is more important than ever to have cost-effective options to address this uncomfortable facet of the disease. What can you turn to in order to provide some relief for those who have cracked and dry skin on their feet? The Lantiseptic® line of products may be your answer. Available in different sizes and for a range of problems, Lantiseptic Skin Protectant, Lantiseptic Therapeutic Cream and Lantiseptic All Body Wash are marketed by Summit Industries. One nurse has high praise for the line. “I’ve really had good experience with it,” says Joanne Valent, RN, CWOCN. “It’s a nice, cost-effective product line.” Valent has used Lantiseptic Skin Protectant for five or six years and first started using it in the home care setting. She has had success using the product to treat diabetic feet that have cracked skin and/or stage II pressure ulcers. Valent adds that the product is useful in cases in which a wound dressing is not adhering to wounds. Assessing The Benefits Of The Skin Protectant Lantiseptic Skin Protectant is an emollient ointment that offers a 50 percent lanolin formula, which is reportedly helpful in treating grade I and II pressure sores, and cracked skin. Valent cites the low cost of Lantiseptic and its ease of use as advantages. She notes once you apply the skin protectant, you can get 24 hours’ use from it and you do not need a secondary dressing. However, Valent cautions that the Lantiseptic Skin Protectant can be thick to apply so she advises telling patients to warm up packets or tubes in their pockets for easier application. When u Continue reading >>

Foot Care

Foot Care

When you have diabetes you need to take care of your feet every day Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations Daily care can prevent serious complications Check your feet daily for changes or problems Visit a podiatrist annually for a check up or more frequently if your feet are at high risk Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, blood circulation and infection. Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations. This damage is more likely if: You have had diabetes for a long time Your blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period You smoke – smoking causes a reduced blood flow to your feet, wounds heal slowly You are inactive. It's important to check your feet every day. If you see any of the following- get medical treatment that *day * Ulcer Unusual swelling Redness Blisters Ingrown nail Bruising or cuts If you see any of the following- get medical treatment within 7 days Broken skin between toes Callus Corn Foot shape changes Cracked skin Nail colour changes Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include: Numbness Coldness of the legs A tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet Burning pains in the legs and feet, usually more noticeable in bed at night. These symptoms can result in a loss of sensation in the feet which increases the risk of accidental damage because you can’t feel any pain. An injury to the feet can develop into an ulcer on the bottom of a foot which can penetrate to the bone. This could lead to infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) and a chronic infection in the bones and joints. If an infection isn’t treated at the earliest signs, this could result in ulceration (an infected open sore) and eventually Continue reading >>

Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them

Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them

Foot problems in diabetes can be caused by damage to both large and small blood vessels, which is much more common in diabetes. Foot problems, including nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy, usually begin with vascular disease. Damage to small blood vessels, in particular, appears to be the major cause of nerve damage that results in loss of feeling, or worse pain and burning sensations that bother the feel and legs. Once nerve damage progresses, it triggers loss of motor control and the abnormal gait that results in ulcers and amputations. Preventing foot problems in diabetes begins by preventing the loss of circulation that will result in serious nerve damage. This is relatively easy today if the risks for circulatory problems are recognized early. Keeping the blood pressure below 130/80 is essential for reducing damage to blood vessel walls. Preventing placque formation is also critical. This is done with medications the lower triglycerides and raise HDL, such as gemfibrozil and niacin, and those that lower LDL and make it lighter, such as the statins. Blood vessels walls can also be protected with certain blood pressure meds called ACE inhibitors. Blood flow may be improved with high dose vitamin E, although 1200 mg to 1500 mg a day are usually required for this effect. absence of foot pulses a pale color of the foot when it is raised feet that feel cold pain at rest pain at night relieved by hanging the feet over the side of the bed thin appearing skin loss hair from the toes and feet shiny skin a blue color of the toes reddish color of the feet ulcers that don't heal a foot infection that is hard to heal Although amputations are 15 times as common with diabetes, about half can be prevented with simple steps that protect the feet: Unfortunately, about 60 to 70 per Continue reading >>

Diabetic-related Athlete’s Foot

Diabetic-related Athlete’s Foot

Dry Skin or Athlete’s Foot? Diabetic Patients, Beware! Athlete’s foot is a common, fungal skin infection we see in our diabetic patients. A majority of cases begin between the toes and spread to the bottom of the feet. Anyone can get athlete’s foot, but it is more severe for a diabetic. Naturally, patients with diabetes have a weaker circulatory system along with an impaired immune system. This causes a higher risk for infection. Athlete’s foot is a concern for diabetics because their skin lacks hydration, making dry skin prominent. Athlete’s foot is caused from fungus growing on the top layer of your skin. It is contagious and you can get it from touching the affected area of a person who has it, and more commonly, from contaminated surfaces such as damp floors in public showers or locker rooms. Many diabetics confuse athlete’s foot as being dry skin on their feet. Because athlete’s foot has similar characteristics to dry skin such as peeling, cracking redness, blisters, breakdown of the skin, itching and burning, it is understandable as to why these two conditions can be confused. If untreated, athlete’s foot can lead to a severe bacterial infection of the foot and leg. Risk Factors Men are more susceptible than women Having athlete’s foot before An impaired immune system Living in a warm, damp climate More common in adults than children Depending on the severity of the fungus, athlete’s foot can lead to blisters, cracked skin and open wounds. With a diabetic foot, a wound as minor as a blister can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, which causes healing time for injuries to be slower. Diabetes also enables infections to spread quickly, which is a concern as it is one of the most common complications of the diabetic foot. If an in Continue reading >>

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