On diabetic skin care

It is important to take care of your blood sugar levels and keep it under control to prevent any worsening of your foot problems. Diabetes makes you susceptible to skin infections so it is important to take extra care of your skin.

n  Diabetic foot ulcers is one of the complications of having uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy affects nerves and damages them. There is less sensation due to nerve injury hence cuts, bruises, injuries must be checked regularly or they may go unnoticed resulting in ulcers. Blood vessels are also affected so there is less oxygenated blood flowing hence wound healing will be much slower and skin breaks down easily to form ulcers. Therefore pulses on the feet must be checked by your doctor in your annual checkups.

n  Any ill fitting shoes where the toes are rubbing against each other or where excessive pressure is delivered to the balls of the feet allows formation of corns and abrasions that can get infected. Proper fitting soft shoes are necessary. They must protect and allow the feet to breathe. Any ulcer must be examined and treated immediately.

n  Check your feet everyday and inspect any cuts and wounds. They are to be taken care of as early as possible. If you have corns and calluses, have them checked by a good podiatrist. Keep the toe nails clipped but get your pedicurist or podiatrist to do them for you if you cannot see well. It is important not to have cuts.

n  If you have any skin lesions or thickness of the skin on some parts of the body you should see your doctor for treatment as poor diabetic control is associated with some skin changes called diabetic dermopathy. Any cracks, fissures and fungal infections in the feet must also be checked by a doctor and promptly treated.

(The writer is a cosmetic dermatologist)

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