You may have noticed that your diabetes is causing changes in the skin of your feet. The heels and soles may become dry or cracked, or they may begin to peel. This is because the nerves that control the natural oils in your feet are no longer working, resulting in calluses or blisters—both of which can develop into skin ulcers.
Skin ulcers, or open sores, are one of the more frequent diabetes foot problems. People with diabetes who have nerve damage in their feet can sustain an injury without knowing it—and once the skin has been broken, the wound can become infected or even gangrenous, without proper treatment.
You can avoid these problems with a few simple preventive measures. Here are a few ways to take care of your skin and avoid open sores:
- Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing.
- Moisturize your clean feet with a thin coat of petroleum jelly or unscented lotion.
- Do not put lotion between your toes. Too much moisture can lead to infection.
- Do not soak your feet. Doing so might relieve tension, but it can dry your skin out even more.
- Check your feet regularly for sores or skin changes.
- Do not cut or trim calluses yourself. Your podiatrist knows how to do this in a way that will avoid infection.
- Do not use chemical treatments on corns or calluses. If you cannot feel pain, you will not feel if the product causes a chemical burn.
For more information on taking care of your feet, call Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates today in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644. You can also click the link on this page and we’ll send you a FREE copy of our book The Foot Is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.