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Take care of your feet – diabetes and foot care

Diabetes can affect circulation, nerve function, and the body’s capacity to heal, potentially leading to complications.

People with diabetes need to be especially vigilant about foot care to prevent serious complications. Diabetes can affect our feet in ways we may not always notice, making regular podiatrist check-ups an essential part of your diabetes management journey.

Here are some ways in which diabetes can affect the feet:

Peripheral Neuropathy

High blood sugar levels over time can damage the nerves, leading to a condition called peripheral neuropathy. This can result in tingling, burning, or loss of sensation in the feet. As a result, individuals with neuropathy may not feel pain or injuries on their feet, making them more prone to unnoticed wounds or infections.

Poor Circulation

Diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to the extremities, including the feet. Poor circulation impairs the body’s ability to deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the feet, making it harder for wounds to heal.

Foot Ulcers

Minor cuts, blisters, or injuries on the feet can go unnoticed due to neuropathy. These untreated wounds can become foot ulcers, which are open sores that are slow to heal and prone to infection.


Due to reduced blood flow and compromised immune response, infections can occur more easily in the feet of individuals with diabetes. Infections can be severe and may spread to the surrounding tissues, leading to more serious complications.

Charcot Foot

Charcot foot is a severe condition where the bones in the foot weaken and collapse due to nerve damage. This can lead to changes in the foot’s shape and structure, making it more susceptible to fractures and deformities.


In severe cases of foot ulcers and infections, tissue death (gangrene) may occur. This is a life-threatening condition that may necessitate amputation to prevent the spread of infection.

Dry Skin and Calluses

Diabetes can cause dry skin on the feet, increasing the risk of cracked skin and calluses. These conditions can lead to open wounds if left untreated.

Due to the potential complications associated with diabetes and feet, individuals with diabetes should take extra care of their feet by following these preventive measures:

Daily Foot Inspections

Check the feet daily for any signs of injury, redness, blisters, or wounds, especially if neuropathy is present.

Proper Foot Hygiene

Keep the feet clean and dry, and avoid using hot water on them. Gently moisturise dry skin to prevent cracking.

Comfortable Footwear

Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes with sufficient toe room to prevent pressure on the feet.

Regular Foot Examinations

Schedule regular foot examinations with a healthcare provider, preferably a podiatrist, to monitor foot health and address any issues promptly.

Avoid Self-Treatment

Do not attempt to treat foot issues, such as calluses or corns, on your own. Seek professional care from a podiatrist or healthcare provider.

By practicing diligent foot care and seeking timely medical attention, individuals with diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of complications and maintain foot health.