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Is Athlete's Foot A Sign Of Diabetes?

Treating Tinea Pedis In Patients With Diabetes

Treating Tinea Pedis In Patients With Diabetes

Patients with diabetes face a higher risk of tinea pedis, which can lead to complications, and research is scarce on the efficacy of medications in diabetic patients with the fungal condition. Accordingly, these authors provide a closer look at treatment and prevention strategies for tinea pedis, which often occurs in concert with onychomycosis. Tinea pedis is a contagious fungal infection that affects the feet of approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population, similar to onychomycosis.1-3 In comparison to otherwise healthy individuals, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing antifungal infection and are also more likely to face adverse complications including secondary bacterial infections, foot ulcers, paronychias, cellulitis, osteomyelitis, gangrene and lower limb amputation.4-8 Safe and effective treatment of tinea pedis is therefore imperative for people with diabetes. Tinea pedis commonly presents as red, itchy scales on the skin in between the toes and/or the soles of the feet. Often, but not always, tinea pedis presents alongside onychomycosis, causing the toenails to become thick, yellow and brittle. Since these conditions are contagious, without proper treatment, the infection may spread to both feet and all toenails. While tinea pedis can be uncomfortable and cosmetically displeasing, it is unlikely to cause any serious adverse complications in otherwise healthy individuals. For people with diabetes, however, the presence of this infection can lead to secondary bacterial infections, foot ulceration, paronychia, cellulitis, osteomyelitis, gangrene and possible lower limb amputation.4-8 Tinea pedis may lead to foot ulceration through the development of skin fissures in the plantar and/or interdigital skin. Onychomycosis, on the other hand, Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

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 >>

Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them

Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them

Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:46 -- Richard Morris 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. Signs Of Blood Vessel Problems In The Feet: a pale color of the foot when it is raised pain at night relieved by hanging the feet over the side of the bed 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 percent of people with diabetes already have at least a mild form of nerve damage. Damage appe Continue reading >>

Foot Care Q&a: Part 1

Foot Care Q&a: Part 1

People with diabetes often have questions about how best to care for their feet and what to do when problems occur. To help answer these questions, Diabetes Self-Management interviewed several foot-care experts including four podiatrists and one pedorthist who regularly work with people with diabetes. A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), who is qualified by his education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are also known as podiatric physicians or surgeons. A pedorthist is a professional trained to prevent or alleviate foot problems through the use of footwear, including shoes, orthotics, and other foot devices. The experts interviewed for this article were the following: Dr. Keith A. Beauchamp, DPM, a podiatrist who has a private practice in Macon, Missouri. Dennis Janisse, CPed, a certified pedorthist who is President and CEO of National Pedorthic Services, Inc., and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He teaches pedorthic courses at Northwestern Medical School and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is a past president of the Pedorthic Footwear Association. Dr. Neil Scheffler, DPM, a podiatrist and coauthor of the book 101 Tips on Foot Care for People with Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association. He has a private practice in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Pedro Smukler, DPM, a podiatrist with private practices in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York. Not only does he see patients in his office, but he also visits patients in their homes. Dr. Stephanie Wu, DPM, MSc, a podiatrist and Associate Dean of Research, Associate Professor of Surgery, Associate Professor of Stem Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Foot & Skin Related Complications

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 >>

Athletes Foot: Causes, Symptoms, And Diagnosis

Athletes Foot: Causes, Symptoms, And Diagnosis

Athletes foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. Its commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools. Anyone can get athletes foot, but certain behaviors increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting athletes foot include: visiting public places barefoot, especially locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person There are many possible symptoms of athletes foot, which include: itching , stinging, and burning between the toes itching, stinging, and burning on the soles of the feet cracking and peeling skin on the feet, most commonly between the toes and on the soles dry skin on the soles or sides of the feet toenails that pull away from the nail bed A doctor may diagnose athletes foot by the symptoms. Or, a doctor may order a skin test if they arent sure a fungal infection is causing your symptoms. A skin lesion potassium hydroxide (KOH) exam is the most common test for athletes foot. A doctor scrapes off a small area of infected skin and places it in potassium hydroxide (KOH). The KOH destroys normal cells and leaves the fungal cells untouched so they are easy to see under a microscope. Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat the fungal infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection. There are many OTC topical antifungal medications, including: Some of the prescription medication Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Athletes Foot: What A Podiatrist Needs You To Know

Diabetes And Athletes Foot: What A Podiatrist Needs You To Know

Diabetes and Athletes Foot: What a Podiatrist Needs You to Know Having diabetes increases your risk of developing athletes foot. Heres how to prevent it. If you have diabetes, you may be aware of how diabetic neuropathy can affect your feet . Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness and other sensations in the feet and legs, which tends to mask any pain a person might feel from any cuts or sores they might have on the feet. If theyre not cared for properly, this can lead to infection. This nerve damage from diabetes can increase your chances of developing certain foot problems, like athlete's foot, a fungal infection that causes itching, burning, and cracked, scaly skin between your toes. When you have diabetes your immune system could be suppressed, which will increase the incidence of developing these types of infections, says podiatrist William Spielfogel, DPM, chief of the division of podiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital. Whats more, people with diabetes tend to have poor blood flow, which can impact the bodys ability to heal wounds quickly, or even at all. Managing your blood sugar and taking care of your feet properly are the most important steps you can take to prevent any foot problems that may develop with diabetes. Preventing Athletes Foot When You Have Diabetes Its important for anybody, not just a diabetic patient, to avoid walking in public places barefoot, like pools, gyms, and locker rooms, says Dr. Spielfogel. So if youre in the gym or going to take a shower in a spa ... you should be wearing flip flops, thats probably the best prevention for athletes foot, says Dr. Spielfogel. Its also important to dry your feet thoroughly after showering or bathing, especially between your toes. Fungal infections like to live in dark, damp environments, says Dr. Spielfogel. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes and foot problems facts Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems arise due to the decreased sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease. Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not specific to diabetes, but may occur more commonly due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. Treatment depends on the exact type of foot problem. Surgery or even amputation may be required for some cases. Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to absence of blood circulation. It can be life threatening if bacterial infection develops (wet gangrene). Many diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet. How can diabetes cause foot problems? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. Two main conditions, 1) peripheral artery disease (PAD), and 2) peripheral neuropathy are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), means that there is narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain. This is sometimes referred to as "hardening" of the arteries. Diabetes is a known risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease. In addition to pain in the calves during exercise (medically known as intermitte Continue reading >>

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care

For chronic sufferers, especially people with diabetes, fungal infections could be common and, if left untreated, may lead to more severe foot problems. Special Care for People With Diabetes If you have diabetes, taking good care of your feet is important and should be a part of your daily health routine. Fungal infections could be common in people with diabetes and, if left untreated, may lead to more severe foot problems. For preventative tips, click here. Know the Facts About Athlete's Foot Managing diabetes can feel like a full-time job, so don’t let athlete’s foot complicate things. Educate yourself and follow these tips to prevent athlete’s foot and other foot problems. Foot Care for Chronic Sufferers The best way to beat fungus is to avoid it altogether. Take control of your foot health with LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder. It is clinically proven to prevent most athlete's foot while providing relief from symptoms. It also absorbs wetness, keeping your feet dry and fungus free. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and lessen the ability to feel small skin injuries where the fungus can easily infect the skin. The symptoms of athlete's foot, such as itching or burning, might also go unnoticed. For this reason, it's highly recommended that people suffering from diabetes check their feet every day and see a podiatrist regularly. A podiatrist specializes in medical foot care, including the prevention of athlete's foot, and assists with the application of medication. For more information about living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website. 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 >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

For people with diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in their blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot problems. you might like 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 "sensory 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. The muscles of the foot may not function properly, because the nerves that make the muscles work are damaged. This could cause the foot to not align properly and create too much pressure in one area of the foot. It is estimated that up to 10% of people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers. Foot ulcers occur because of nerve damage and peripheral vascular disease. 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." 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 ulcers or gangrene (the death of tissue due to a lack of blood). Continue reading >>

Top Tips For Better Foot Care With Diabetes

Top Tips For Better Foot Care With Diabetes

Top Tips for Better Foot Care With Diabetes Foot problems are among the most feared complications of uncontrolled diabetes, and for good reason. More than 60 percent of lower-limb amputations that aren't a result of trauma occur in people with diabetes. But even if you already have complications of diabetes, amputation is by no means a givenor likely. Your best defenses: good glucose control and knowledge about foot problems, including how to prevent or treat them. Call 'em sores or woundsthey're broken skin, and that can let in harmful bacteria or fungus. Minor cuts and scrapes aren't usually a big deal, except where diabetes is concerned. When a break in the skin doesn't heal or heals poorly, it can become a chronic wound known as an ulcer. According to Lee Rogers, DPM, codirector of the Amputation Prevention Center at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles, a quarter of all people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime, half of those will have infected ulcers, and, of those, 1 in 6 will require amputation. That's why you'll hear podiatrists stress proper foot care: Early treatment is crucial. Cracked, peeling, and flaking skin and blisters that ooze or crust. Ask your doctor about: Athlete's foot A break in the skin, redness, or swelling. Ask your doctor about: Ulcer A swollen, red foot that's warm to the touch. Ask your doctor about: Charcot foot Thick, cracked, crumbling, broken or jagged, and darkened (brown or yellow) nails. Ask your doctor about: Toenail fungus There are a number of reasons people with diabetes are more likely to have hard-to-treat ulcers. For one, neuropathy and the loss of sensation that may follow make it difficult for people to notice wounds. If they don't check regularly, a minor cut could become infected. Foot defo Continue reading >>

Why Athlete’s Foot Is Dangerous In Diabetes

Why Athlete’s Foot Is Dangerous In Diabetes

Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis) commonly occurs in diabetics. Since the flaking and peeling skin symptomatic of this fungal infection can resemble large areas of dry skin, affected clients often mistake it for very dry skin. At McDermott Footcare, monitoring the presence of Athlete’s Foot in diabetic clients is part of the routine, on-going assessment. What does Athlete’s Foot look like? The appearance of Athlete’s Foot was described in this earlier blog post (read here), but it bears repeating. In its beginning stage, Athlete’s Foot shows up as flaky, scaly, peeling skin between the toes, most likely between the fourth and fifth toes. There may also be superficial cracking or fissures of the skin between the toes. It may or may not be itchy. It is odourless. If there is a noticeable odour, this indicates a bacterial infection which is different from Athlete’s Foot but of equal concern. The flaky, scaly area may spread down the soles of the foot. As it spreads, the affected area often becomes reddened and may feel itchy or burning. It may develop into moccasin-type Athlete’s Foot, covering an area that would typically be covered by a moccasin-type shoe. Athlete’s Foot concerns for diabetics Athlete’s Foot that remains untreated may cause abrasions, small cuts and bleeding in the skin. This provides an opportunity to develop a bacterial infection known as cellulitis. Cellulitis is a non-contagious bacterial infection that may occur secondary to Athlete’s Foot. Diabetics are more prone to developing cellulitis because of a weakened immune system. It is characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, tenderness and tightness of the skin in the affected area. Oral antibiotics are prescribed as treatment. If cellulitis does not respond well to antibiotic therapy Continue reading >>

When You Have Diabetes—10 Steps To Healthy Feet

When You Have Diabetes—10 Steps To Healthy Feet

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. Step #1. Have your doctor check your feet regularly See your family doctor regularly to be sure your diabetes is in good control. Have your doctor look at your feet at every visit. Step #2. Wear the right shoes and socks Don't wear shoes that fit too tightly or pinch your feet. Choose thick cotton socks and well-cushioned shoes with plenty of room in the toes. (Look for shoes with a high toe box.) They will help keep your feet healthy. Never go barefoot. Step #3. Check your feet every day Look at your feet very carefully every day to be sure you have no cuts, scrapes or blisters. Look at every part of your foot, even between your toes. Step #4. Treat cuts, scrapes and blisters. See your doctor if a wound does not heal If you get a small cut, scrape or blister on your foot, wash the area gently with soap and water. Don't break the blister. Put an antibiotic cream on the wound several times a day. If the wound does not heal in a few days, see your doctor. Step #5. Keep your feet clean Gently wash your feet with soap and water every day. Pat your feet dry. Put on a moisturizing cream or ointment (for example, petroleum jelly). Don't put too much moisturizer between your toes, however. Step #6. Cut your toenails correctly Cut your toenails straight across the top, not curved at the sides, to prevent ingrown toenails. Ask your doctor for help if your nails are too thick or if they crack when you try to cut them. Step #7. Treat athlete's foot Athlete's foot is more common in people w Continue reading >>

Diabetes Skin Problems | Symptom No 5 Of 6 Early Signs Of Diabetes

Diabetes Skin Problems | Symptom No 5 Of 6 Early Signs Of Diabetes

Diabetes Skin Problems And Conditions – Itchy And Cracked Skin Diabetes skin problems sometimes appear in the form of changes to the skin, the body’s largest organ. “There are a number of conditions involving skin changes that occur more often in people who are diabetic,” says Christopher Saudek, M.D., a Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Experts on the diabetes skin problems and other early signs of diabetes know that what may seem like common problems, when bundled together, can become a diabetic diagnosis. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as one-third of diabetics will experience a skin disorder caused or affected by their disease. Diabetics often experience itchy skin, particularly in the lower legs, which can be caused by dryness, poor circulation, or yeast infections. The nerve damage caused by the illness may stop diabetics from sweating, which robs their skin of natural moisture. Changing diabetes skin conditions involving bacterial infections are also common for people who are diabetic, and often occur when a bacteria invades a cut; scratch; dry, cracked skin; or other wounds. Three other common diabetes skin problems are fungal infections. These include athlete’s foot (affecting the skin between the toes), jock itch (red, itchy area on the genitals as well as inside of the thighs) and ringworm (ring-shaped, itchy, scaly patches or blisters that can appear on groin, feet, abdomen, chest and scalp or nails). Itching, blistering, dry flaky skin or severe scaling are the common symptoms of fungal infections. High glucose levels in the blood can promote the growth of fungi and skin is the flourishing site for it. If you have early diabetic skin symptoms you may be more susce Continue reading >>

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