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How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

Athlete's foot


Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness and cracking. Germs can enter through the cracks in your skin and cause an infection. Medicines that kill the fungus are used to treat athlete's foot. These medicines may be pills and/or creams applied directly to the problem area. Ask your doctor to recommend a medication for athlete's foot.

Blisters


Blisters can form when your shoes rub the same spot on your foot. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters, which can become infected. When treating blisters, it's important not to "pop" them. The skin covering the blister helps protect it from infection. Use an antibacterial cream and clean, soft bandages to help protect the skin and prevent infection.

Corns


A corn is a build-up of hard skin near a bony area of a toe or between toes. Corns may be the result of pressure from shoes that rub against the toes or cause friction between the toes. Proper care is necessary if you have a corn. After your bath or shower, use a pumice stone to gently remove the build-up of tissue. Do not use over-the-counter remedies to dissolve corns. DO NOT try to cut the corn or remove it with a sharp object.

Diabetec Foot ulcers


A foot ulcer is a break in the skin or a deep sore, which can become infected. Foot ulcers can result from minor scrapes, cuts that heal slowly or from the rubbing of shoes that do not fit well. Early intervention is important in treatment. Ask your doctor for advice on how to best care for your wound.

Flat foot


A condition of the feet in which the arch of the instep is flattened and the entire sole touches the ground. All babies have flat feet because their arches are not yet built up (and their feet tend to be plump). This condition may persist into adulthood, or an arch may form as the child grows. Flat feet can also be acquired, as in jobs that require a great deal of walking and carrying heavy objects. People with flat feet sometimes experience clumsiness and fatigue from prolonged walking or running. Wearing shoes with built-in arch supports can help. People with weakness in the ankle as well as flat feet may find that their feet turn in or roll toward the middle, damaging shoes and causing discomfort. Shoes with both built-in arch supports and rigid counters (side supports) are helpful. Exercises may also be useful in reducing discomfort.

Hammer toes


A hammertoe is a toe that is bent because of a weakened muscle. The weakened muscle makes the tendons (tissues that connect muscles to bone) shorter, causing the toes to curl under the feet. Hammertoes can run in families. They can also be cause by shoes that are too short. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and can lead to other foot problems, such as blisters, calluses, and sores. Splinting and corrective footwear can help in treating them. In severe cases, surgery to straighten the toe may be necessary.

Bunion


A bunion is a localized painful swelling at the base of the big toe (the great toe). The joint is enlarged (due to new bone formation) and the toe is often misaligned. It is frequently associated with inflammation. It can be related to inflammation of the nearby bursa (bursitis) or degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis). Bunions most commonly affect women. Ballet dancers are prime candidates for bunions. Tight-fitting shoes and high heels can contribute to bunions. The treatment of bunions includes rest, a change in shoes, foot supports, medications or surgery

Fungal infection of nails


Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discolored (yellowish-brown or opaque), thick and brittle, and may separate from the rest of the nail. In some cases, the nail may crumble. The dark, moist and warm environment of shoes can promote fungal growth. In addition, an injury to the nail can put you at risk for a fungal infection. Fungal nail infections are difficult to treat. Medications applied directly to the nail are available, but they only help a small number of fungal nail problems. Oral medications (pills) may need to be prescribed by your doctor. Treatment also may include periodic removal of the damaged nail tissue.