Diabetic Toenails: Watch For Change
Changes in the diabetic foot can happen fast: here are the signs and types clinicians in wound care need to look for. As a wound care professional, chances are you’ve treated a number of nail conditions and abnormalities that occur among the general population. But when you’re working with diabetic patients, noticing and identifying variations is even more crucial. This is because change can happen more rapidly in the diabetic foot, and pathologies in diabetic toenails can ultimately lead to skin breakdown, foot ulcerations and infection. So, what causes the nails to change? What exactly should you look for? We’ve got you covered. Why the Change? Changes in the diabetic toenails are usually due to: Poor circulation Trauma – which often goes unnoticed due to neuropathy General susceptibility to fungal infections – resulting from high levels of glucose in the blood What to Look For in Diabetic Toenails The first toenail change you’ll notice in diabetic patients is likely to be discoloration. Most have some yellowing of the nails, though the shade and involvement can vary. Discoloring may start at the distal edge (tip), and run all the way to the root of the nail bed. The shade can be a light yellow, brown-tinged, or even canary yellow. When you see red, brown or black toenails, it’s often a subungual hematoma – or collection of blood under the nail – which may result from acute or chronic trauma. Since cancerous melanoma can lead to black toenails, once you’re able to rule out trauma, check for a malignancy. Types of Nail Changes and Conditions In addition to nail discoloration, be on alert for these types of changes in the diabetic foot: Onychauxis – a thickening or hypertrophy of the nail plate of the toenail (without deformity). It typically inclu Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Foot & Skin Related Complications
How can diabetes affect feet and skin? For people with diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in their blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot and skin problems, as well as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, and other problems. How can diabetes affect my feet? Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet: Diabetic neuropathy — Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold or pain. This lack of feeling is called diabetic neuropathy. If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. Peripheral vascular disease — Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called peripheral vascular disease. (The word "peripheral" means "located away from a central point," and the word "vascular" refers to the blood vessels. Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels away from the heart.) If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing gangrene, which is the death of tissue due to a lack of blood. To keep gangrene from spreading, the doctor may have to remove a toe, foot, or part of a leg. This procedure is called amputation. Diabetes is the most common, non-traumatic cause of leg amputations. Each year, more than 56,000 people with diabetes have amputations. However, research suggests that more than half of these amputations can be prevented through proper foot care. What are some common foot problems of people with diabetes? Anyone can get the foot problems listed below. For people Continue reading >>
Black Toenail - Diabetes - Type 1 - Medhelp
I am a 37 year old type 1 diabetic. I have been a diabetic for 8 years now. My A1C has averaged around a 9 to a 10 for the most part. For the past 4 months I have experienced severe pain in my calf, thigh and feet. I have also had a throbbing ache and sting through out my whole body. About a week ago both of my big toes felt raw to the touch at the toe nail and now my right big toe nail has turned black and is sore. My vision has been getting blurry when i read. I also have a history of Afib. What could this be? You could be developing a blood clot or gangrene.This is a medical emergency, so please go to see your dr and get this properly assessed now. If you are lucky, it may just be neuropathy (also serious, but not life-threatening like the above). Your average a1c of 9 - 10 means you have an average blood sugar of 240 - 280. Considering that normal non-diabeticblood sugars are in the range of 80-120 and a normal Hb1c is < 5.0, your blood sugars are very dangerously high. Are you using basal / bolus insulin?If not, you need to. Would strongly recommend you follow a low carb diet (very low carb / high fat / moderate protein). The following books can be used as resource to find out how to properly use insulin:- If you cannot get your blood sugar under control you are at serious risk of major complications or even death? IF your dr will not help you get this under control very quickly, you need to look for another doctor. However, for now, what you describe may possibly be a medical emergency.Please see your dr and let us know how you go. Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Toenails To Turn Black?
If you have diabetes and are wondering if it’s related to an unsettling black patch on your toenail, you’ll want to head straight to a dermatologist first rather than your diabetes doctor. A slowly growing and increasing blackness or very dark area on a toenail may be a sign of melanoma skin cancer. However, that is not the most likely cause. But what if you DO have diabetes? An infection called paronychia affects the nail fold and can be chronic (longstanding) or acute (sudden). This infection is not caused by diabetes, but is more common in diabetics. When it’s chronic, the damage to the cuticle can lead to a distortion in the underlying nail tissues. This will then cause a space that is vulnerable to infection. One of the microbes that can infect this space is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is this microorganism that has the potential to give the nail an almost black (more likely a blue-black) color. Another microbe, Fusarium, can cause a blackish patch in a toenail. But there is nothing about diabetes that literally turns the toenail (or fingernail) itself black, blue-black or dark brown. Melanoma can turn a toenail black. Typically, though, it’s not the entire nail, but can be most of it (below). A hematoma (blood collection) can result in a “black” toenail. Normally this is caused by either a blunt trauma (something falling on the foot) or prolonged sport or exercise activity such as hiking downhill in footwear that’s not as roomy as it should be. The darkness begins developing within a day or two of the insult. If you have diabetes, do not chalk this up as a cause of an unexplained dark or black coloring in a toenail or fingernail. See a dermatologist to rule out a serious cause. Sources medicinenet.com/nail_discoloration/symptoms.htm practicaldi Continue reading >>
Link Between Type 2 Diabetes And Black Toenail Fungus
Many people with Type 2 diabetes have problems with their feet. This is due to poor circulation and nerve damage. Perhaps you’ve started getting pins and needles in the feet? The hardening and darkening of the toenails are common, and sometimes the blackening of toenails can be a sign that you have developed a fungal infection. When a fungus reaches the stage where it turns a toenail a dark or black color, it becomes a problem. This can result in it spreading to other nails, or even cause other medical problems if it’s not treated quickly. But is the link between Type 2 diabetes and black toenail fungus nothing more than a coincidence? If you have diabetes and have experienced foot issues (including athlete’s foot), paying attention to the warning signs of toenail fungus is critically important. Taking care of your feet should be one of your highest priorities. The feet are where many warning signs originate. So, if you pay close enough attention to the health of your feet and toes, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run. Is Toenail Fungus a Sign of Diabetes? Black toenail fungus and diabetes can sometimes go hand-in-hand. But, does that mean toenail fungus is a symptom of diabetes? Unfortunately, there’s no clear way to answer this question. Toenail fungus could be an early symptom of diabetes. But, with so many potential causes, this question requires further investigation. How Toenail Fungus is Contracted Toenail fungus is caused by trapped moisture underneath the nail bed, creating a breeding ground for fungi to grow. Perhaps you went barefoot in a public shower, or maybe you were getting a pedicure, and the pedicurist accidentally poked the nail bed with an infected tool. You may not even know where, or how, you got an infection. But, you d Continue reading >>
Have Diabetes? Take That Toenail Fungus Seriously
Before I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, toenail fungus was a problem, but I did not take it seriously because over-the-counter remedies seemed to work just fine. However, after having diabetes for a while I began to notice yellowing and thickening in the big toenails that spread to some of the other toes, too. Was Type 2 diabetes doing this to me? As always, I did some research. The fact is that a lot of people develop toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, but it is about twice as common in people with diabetes. Diabetic nerve damage in the feet, which may prevent a person from noticing damage to his toenails, and reduced circulation, which affects healing, are both partly responsible for this increased risk. You probably already know how important it is to inspect your feet every day, looking for red spots, blisters, sores, or other types of irritation. These can become life threatening if they are left alone for very long. The threat of lower-leg amputation hangs over us, and about 60% of these procedures occur in people with diabetes. There are fewer of these procedures now because of better diabetes care and education, but amputations are still performed when foot and leg sores do not heal. What I did not know was that toenail fungus can lead to an increased risk for amputation. That means those benign-looking ugly toenails can no longer be covered up and ignored. The first step to taking good care of your feet is going to a podiatrist, or foot doctor, regularly. You should visit him at least once a year for a foot checkup. This specialist will watch for signs of toenail fungus and inform you of the best ways to treat it. Because you have diabetes, the treatment for toenail fungus will be a little different, and perhaps more aggressive, too. I tried to avoid those Continue reading >>
- 7 Steps To Help Reverse Type-2 Diabetes So You Never Have To Take Insulin Or Medication Again
- Lucozade is changing its formula and people with diabetes have been warned that they need to take care
- Lucozade is changing its formula and Irish people with diabetes have been warned that they need to take care
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 >>
Black Toenail: 6 Potential Causes
There are various reasons for black toenails and many causes are easy to treat. The cause of a black toenail may be benign or quite serious. It is important for a person who develops a black toenail to understand some of the potential causes. When in doubt, it is a good idea to be examined by a medical professional who can diagnose the problem and develop an effective treatment plan. When a person wears poorly-fitting shoes, they may be at risk of developing black toenails due to repetitive trauma. Long-term pressure on the toes from poorly-fitting shoes can cause a range of problems, from small blisters to bloody blisters under the nail. In mild cases, the black toenail will grow out naturally over time without treatment. In severe cases, such as when the nail begins to detach from the nail bed, a person should seek medical treatment. In some cases, the trauma may be a one-time blunt-force injury, for example, if a person drops a heavy object on their foot or toes. When this happens, blood vessels in the nail bed break, causing blood to pool there. The injured toe will start to hurt and pool blood beneath the skin almost immediately. The buildup of blood will cause the toe to feel painful and swollen. A doctor can treat this condition by draining the blood with a pinprick. Fungal infections are another common problem that can cause black toenails to form. Typically, a fungal infection causes a white or yellowish discoloration. However, debris can build up near the infection, causing the nail to appear black. Toenails are particularly susceptible to fungal infections, as socks and shoes can provide a warm and moist breeding ground for a fungus to become established. Fungal infections can usually be prevented with proper foot care. In rare cases, a black toenail may be Continue reading >>
Diabetes Foot Care
You're more likely to have foot problems with diabetes because it can damage your nerves and lessen blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association estimates that it's the reason why 1 in 5 people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so. You have to take care of your feet when you have diabetes. Poor foot care may lead to amputation of a foot or leg. Your doctor will check yours each year for problems. If you take good care of your feet, you can prevent most serious problems related to diabetes. Use mild soaps and warm water. Pat your skin dry; do not rub. Thoroughly dry your feet. After washing, put lotion on them to prevent cracking. But not between your toes! Look carefully at the tops and bottoms of your feet. Have someone else do it if you can't see them. Check for dry, cracked skin. Look for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores. Check for redness, increased warmth, or tenderness when you touch an area. Watch for ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, don't "pop" it. Put a bandage over it, and wear a different pair of shoes. Cut toenails after bathing, when they are soft. Trim them straight across, then smooth with a nail file. Avoid cutting into the corners of toes. You may want a podiatrist (foot doctor) to do it for you. Don't cut cuticles. Walk and work out in comfortable shoes. Don't exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Continue reading >>
Black Areas Under Toenails, Spreading To Toes
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Black Areas Under Toenails, Spreading to Toes I am a nurse in the US. My stepfather has type 2 diabetes. In September 2009 I noticed that he had a small black area under his toenail. His doctor said it was a blood blister, which I thought was not a proper diagnosis, as it hadn't disappeared by December of 2009. Haven't looked at his feet much until today. Now he has four blackened areas under four toenails and two small black areas on one toe toward the end of the toe by the foot. I know this is dead or dying tissue. I will be taking him to the doctor ASAP. Has anyone out there actually dealt with this condition before? What were your experiences? This needs urgent medical attention, not discussions. :shock: Went to the doctor. Black spots, fortunately were related to scabs from blisters breaking open due to athelete's foot. The podiatrist will be seeing my stepfather on a regular basis, however, due to lack of sensation in his feet related to diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic foot care is really important. He needs to see the podiatrist regularly. Anyone living with your stepfather also needs to take their own foot health seriously. If they have things like athletes foot it needs to be treated promptly as it can spread rapidly. Your stepfather needs to make sure his shoes are treated as well and try not to go barefoot if he has retinopathy and he should dry his feet properly after washing them. Well thank heavens it was nothing worse, good that your stepfather is going to see a podiatrist from now on, he will now get good advice on foot care. I am concerned re your first post when you said that you noticed the spots in September and by December they stil Continue reading >>
Nail Removal For Nail Fungus?
What can be done about nail fungus with a diabetic? I am 36. I've been a diabetic for over 12 years (Type 2). My left foot has always been prone to athlete's foot and now my nails are turning black. The nail on my left big toe is totally blackened. I've cut the nail down to the cuticle. Is this safe? My doctor said, "Get rid of the nail, get rid of the fungus." So, I got rid of the nail (most of it). What advice can you offer? Should I have the entire nail removed? – Yolanda, Florida It seems that you and your doctor have taken the surgeon's approach to toenail infection! Before we get to cutting or removing the nails, let me point out a few general facts. Individuals who suffer from diabetes are susceptible to toenail fungal infections and their complications. It is very important to treat the infection and achieve good glucose control. (This is not just a cosmetic problem for individuals who have diabetes.) Treatment depends on the stage of the infection and other factors. If there is only a white patch on the nail, an antifungal lacquer application will cure the infection. If there is nail thickening, brittleness, separation and inflammation, an oral (pill) antifungal agent can be effective as a single therapy or in combination with an antifungal lacquer. The usual discoloration of the toenail is a yellowish brown hue. If there are other organisms causing the change in the toenail, the discoloration may take on a dark green to black appearance. Black toenail can also be caused by trauma, autoimmune disorders, and melanoma. So it is important to arrive at the right diagnosis before treatment. This can be done by a biopsy and culture of the toenail. Removing the toenail completely is not recommended for individuals who have diabetes, since the risk of complications d Continue reading >>
Toenails are naturally white in color. Sometimes discolorations can occur from nail polish, nutritional deficiencies, infection, or trauma. Black toenails are attributed to a variety of causes, some of which resolve on their own. If your nail doesn’t get better, you’ll need to see your doctor to rule out a more serious cause of black toenail. A black toenail may be caused by: An underlying medical condition: This may include anemia, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease. Fungal infections: While these often look white or yellow, fungal infections can sometimes cause black toenails from debris buildup. Your toenails are especially vulnerable to fungal infections because they thrive on moist and warm environments. Melanoma: This is the most serious type of skin cancer, which often appears as a dark brown misshapen spot. Such spots can also occur underneath nail beds. Trauma: Usually caused by an injury, trauma to the toenail can cause the blood vessels beneath a nail to break. The resulting bleeding underneath the nail appears black. A black toenail doesn’t necessarily require a doctor’s visit — the need for medical treatment depends on the initial cause. Knowing the cause can help you make this decision. On the flipside, if you don’t know the cause, it’s a good idea to see your doctor just in case your black toenail is a sign of a serious medical condition. Not all cases of toenail fungus require a doctor’s visit. However, if you also have diabetes, you should see your doctor for treatment. A dermatologist can also help diagnose and treat black toenail. You’ll need to see a dermatologist if you suspect melanoma. However, if your black toenail is caused by another underlying health issue, such as diabetes, then you’ll also need to see your primary Continue reading >>
How Do I Fight Toenail Fungus?
What can you tell me about the dreaded toe fungus? It seems to develop very slowly and can get vicious! I've heard it can get all through the system if not treated. Just what can happen? More important, is there a way to avoid it, besides the regular foot care, dry feet, no bare feet, etc.? Is there an over-the-counter cream that can cure the fungus before it gets so bad that oral meds are needed? Continue reading >>
Blackened Toenail With Type Ii Diabetes
Just wondered if anybody can help. My husband has the above but also has a circulation problem in his legs which causes swelling and puffiness. He has just had his diabetic check up and the doc noticed one of his toenails was looking bruised, not exactly black but greyish reddish. She said it could be a bruise but has referred him on the two week wait in case its a melanoma. Really scared now.......... anybody had anything similar and can reassure please Hi Shirley, Yeah, that's super scary. Did your doctor say anything about it possibly being a circulation problem? I'd try some alternative treatments, including acupuncture and herbs while you're waiting to see the specialist. In that time, you may be able to turn it around. Whatever you do, try it fast, because you don't want to lose the toe. I'd also do some online research on diabetes symptoms and toes. You may find some similar pictures. That might give you a better idea of what you're dealing with. Good luck! Continue reading >>