Conditions affecting the Foot
According to research by Diabetes UK, there are 4.5 million people currently diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and probably millions more living with it who are not aware they are diabetic.
Many complications are associated with diabetes and a number of these issues relate to the foot including problems with circulation and nerves.
With this in mind, it is so important to check your feet daily. It is also beneficial on a daily basis to to wash your feet carefully (drying in between your toes); change your socks, and also apply cream daily. Regular checks with your podiatrist is essential.
Issues that can arise with the nerves of the foot is called neuropathy. This can lead to a lack of sensation and feeling in the feet, or increase in sensations also. Autonomic neuropathy can lead to excessively dry skin as sweat glands can get blocked. With over 250,000 of them in your feet, it is important to keep your feet hydrated.
Complications to look out for when checking your feet are:
Your toenails are cut correctly and the edges are smooth and not jagged. If you are struggling to cut your nails make an appointment with your local podiatrist who are more than happy to help.
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 this skin splits. Creaming your feel each day and seeking a podiatrists help if the dry skin builds up too much is very important.
Swelling of the feet is extremely common. This can be due to a number of factors but can be as a consequence of kidney issues, heart/circulatory issues, warmer weather.
It is important if you experience any of these issues you seek advice from your local diabetes team.
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
Complications 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 facing anyone. But, it is important to try not to scratch the affected skin as scratching it can open up the skin and introduce bacteria and 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. This can arise at any time of the year but is most common in warmer weather.
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 shoes and socks as the fungal spores stay alive in there too. The best method of this is 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.
Washing your feet daily and changing your socks daily is also a preventative measure. Good foot hygiene is key.