Conditions affecting the Foot
According to research by Diabetes UK, there are currently around 4.5 million people with diabetes in the UK, and probably millions more living with it who are not aware they are diabetic.
Many complications of the foot are associated with diabetes. It is important to check your feet daily, wash your feet carefully (drying inbetween your toes); change your socks daily, and also regularly apply moisturiser to your feet. Regular checks with your podiatrist is essential.
Issues that can arise with the nerves in your feet is called neuropathy. There are 3 types of neuropathy: Sensory (leading to numbness/heightened sensation/ reduced sensation); Motor (physical changes such as clawing of toes) Autonomic neuropathy (can lead to excessively dry skin)
Things to look out for when checking your feet with diabetes are:
Ensure your toenails are cut correctly and the edges are smooth and not jagged. If you struggle to cut your nails make an appointment with your local podiatrist/ foot care professional.
Cuts and grazes - diabetes can lead to prolonged healing and increased risk of infections.
Dry/ cracked skin, especially around the heel area can lead to bleeding and infected skin if it splits. Moisturising your feet regularly will help. If the dry skin builds up too much is very important to have this treated and removed by a fully qualified professional.
Swelling of the feet is common. This can be due to a number of factors but can be as a consequence of kidney issues, heart/circulatory issues, warmer weather. Sitting with your feet elevated can reduce the swelling.
It is important if you experience any of these issues you seek advice from your local diabetes team, podiatrist, GP or practice nurse.
Fragrances that are found in various body care products can really flare up allergies and skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis in the foot as they act like an irritant on fragile skin. An organic, fragrance free cream or body balm is recommended in order to reduce this irritation caused by un-natural additives and fragrances.
Our products only contain natural, organic ingredients to reduce the allergy and irritant risk and promote healthy regeneration of skin cells. This is more important with psoriasis as this disorder causes the skin to regenerate at approximately 20 times the normal rate which is why the skin becomes thicker and irritated.
Bamboo socks are highly recommended as they contain natural fibres, are very absorbent and lessen the chances of irritation and sweating.
Changing your socks daily and washing your feet is very important
Issues to look out for when checking your feet:
Psoriasis can cause your nails to become brittle. Ensure you cut your nails properly and file them to make sure no edges are jagged. Visit your local podiatrist if you have any difficulty cutting your nails.
Dry, cracked skin plaques - in the majority of cases plaques develop on the feet. These can become painful if the skin dries out too much so it is important to cream your feet regularly to reduce the risk of infection and skin splitting.
Itching - the most common issue with eczema and psoriasis it probably the most difficult to deal with. Trying not to itch is one of the most difficult tasks. It is important to try to refrain from scratching the affected skin as this can open up the skin, introducing bacteria/ infections.
It is always important to seek expert medical advice if you are suffering with any eczema or psoriasis issues.
The most common fungal infection of the foot is Athletes Foot (tinea pedis) and can occur in anyone of any age.
The fungal spores can thrive anywhere there are dead skin or nail cells. This includes inside shoes and socks. It is imperative that when you treat your feet for a fungal infection, that you also treat your footwear, as the fungal spores can spread in to there also. The best way to do this is with an anti fungal spray.
It is also important you thoroughly dry in between your toes after a shower or bath as the nice warm, moist environment in there is like an all you can eat buffet for the fungal spores.
If you do a lot of exercise like going to the gym/ running etc, changing your footwear regularly also helps. It is reported we produce approx. half a pint of sweat per foot per day, so rotating footwear regular to allow it to dry out is advised.
Washing your feet daily and changing your socks daily is also a preventative measure. Good foot hygiene is key.