If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s extremely important to keep your feet clean and dry and to perform complete, daily foot inspections to look for cuts, blisters, ingrown toenails, and the like. One of the major complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy which often affects the hands, feet, and ankles, making it hard to tell when you have hurt yourself without a visual inspection.
Here are 3 common skin problems of the feet and ankles that can be caused or exacerbated by diabetes:
- Cuts that don’t heal—Peripheral nerve damage causes a loss of feeling and numbness that can make cuts and scrapes go completely unnoticed and get badly infected. Since poor circulation slows the healing and immune response, even small cuts can turn into gangrenous foot ulcers that require aggressive treatment to hopefully prevent the need for amputation.
- Excessive drying and itching—Poor blood circulation is often a complication of diabetes and it can result in excessive dryness and itching of the skin, especially on the feet and ankles.
- Light or dark patches of skin—Vitiligo is a condition that causes the melanin-producing skin cells to become damaged causing areas of the skin to form with no coloration. Venous stasis causes fluid retention in the feet, ankles, and lower legs creating dark patches of skin to form.
Careful foot care and proper diabetes management are essential for preventing complications. Worsening complications could even progress to the need for amputation, so be sure to see your podiatrist. You can count on the foot doctors at Foot & Ankle Specialists, PC to provide fast relief for your aching feet using a full range of both conservative and surgical therapies.
Our expert team, including board-certified podiatrists Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, and Dr. Christine I. Tumele, serves patients of all ages with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies including onsite digital x-ray, ultrasound, diabetic shoes, and digital scanning for custom orthotics. For any questions or to make an appointment, please contact us at one of our Southeast Michigan facilities in Monroe (734-241-0200) and Lambertville (734-856-8900) (Bedford and Monroe counties). We also offer convenient house calls from Monday through Thursday, so give us a call!