Largo Foot and Ankle Health Center
1450 Mercantile Lane
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Diabetic Foot and Signs
Complications due to diabetes are the #1 cause of lower-leg amputations and account for nearly 86,000 amputations per year. Doctors estimate almost 50% of these amputations could have been prevented if the person had taken better care of their feet. Diabetes is a disease that changes the way your body uses the sugar found in food.
Without the right treatment, the sugar level in the body can go out of control. This can cause many problems. Diabetes can cause problems with blood circulation such as infections and nerve damage leading to no feeling in the foot or feet. Foot infections are the most common issue for a person with diabetes and are more severe and take longer to heal than in a person without diabetes.
Dry skin and shape changes could be a result of a diabetes problem. These problems range from
Decrease blood flow to the feet
Nerve problems causing a decreased sense of feeling of pain and pressure
Increased dryness and cracks in your skin
Decreased ability to fight infection
Poor wound healing
Signs and symptoms of a diabetic foot problem
Cold feet with blue or black discoloration
Warm feet that are red in color
Weak pulses (heartbeat) in your feet
Not feeling pain although there is a cut or sore on your foot/feet
Pain while active or resting
Shiny smooth skin of the feet and lower legs
Blood Sugar Control Have good control of your blood pressure and blood sugar. Take your medication. Follow an exercise program that is set up by your caregiver. Exercise helps increase blood flow to your feet.
Footwear Check your shoes daily. Remove your shoes and socks when you see your primary care doctor. This will remind them to check your feet.
Nail Care You should not dig under or around toe nails. Doctor-formulated nail polish is available, which is an alternative to traditional nail polishes, for fashionable patients.
Safety Never use a razor or corn medicine to remove corns, calluses or warts. Talk to your podiatrist if you have corns, calluses or warts. Whether indoors, on plush rugs or outdoors on white sand, never walk barefoot. Podiatrists recommend wide, closed-toed shoes with socks that fit very well.
Clean feet daily with warm water and mild soap, but don't soak them for more than 10-15 minutes.
Smoking If you smoke, you should quit. Join a stop smoking program to help you to quit.