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4 Common Foot Conditions That Could Become Serious When You Have Diabetes

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Common foot problems become more serious when you have diabetes. Poor circulation and a loss of sensation can cause complications from minor injuries. That's why it's important to work with a podiatrist when you have diabetes. The doctor can monitor your foot health and treat problems early when they're easier to heal. Here are some common foot conditions that can be serious when you have diabetes.

1. Blisters From Footwear

One thing your podiatrist will do when you have diabetes is teach you the right type of shoes and socks to wear to minimize friction and reduce the risk of blisters. They may recommend seamless socks and shoes that don't rub your foot but that provide protection and support.

You should check your feet daily for blisters and other injuries. If you find a blister, let your podiatrist know. Reduced blood flow to the blister due to diabetes can make the blister more prone to infection.

2. Cracked Heels From Dry Feet

Dry skin is a common symptom when you have diabetes. When your feet dry out, the skin can crack. Sometimes the cracks are deep and painful. If bacteria get in the crack, the risk of infection rises.

Your doctor may want to bandage the cracked heels or treat them with skin-softening lotions so the cracks can heal. Call a podiatrist if you develop heel cracks, even if you don't feel pain. A lack of pain could be due to the loss of sensation caused by diabetes.

3. Ingrown Toenails Due To Nail Trimming

Your podiatrist may not want you to trim your own nails when you have diabetes. Nails need to be trimmed so the edges stay above the skin line or the nail may dig into the skin as it grows. Ingrown toenails are usually painful, and they can sometimes become infected.

If you develop an ingrown nail, the doctor can treat it so the nail is able to grow out without digging into your skin. They can also treat an infection if it develops, but the best thing is to avoid the ingrown nail to start with. The best way to do that could be to let a podiatrist trim your nails.

4. Fungal Infections Of The Nail And Skin

Fungal infections are common on the feet. When you have diabetes, you might also have a weaker immune system, and that could make you more susceptible to fungal infections of your toes and toenails. Diabetics often have difficulty fighting off infections, so you'll want to see a podiatrist right away when you notice the symptoms of athlete's foot or a toenail infection.

Your podiatrist may need to treat your infection aggressively to cure it before it gets worse. This might require over-the-counter fungal creams or prescription antifungal medication. Your doctor can also give you pointers on how to avoid fungal infections, such as keeping your feet dry and always wearing shoes in a public shower or on a public pool deck.