I have diabetes, should I see a podiatrist?
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence recommend a diabetic foot assessment at the point of diagnosis and once per year thereafter.
Diabetes affects the feet in many ways, two of the main issues are reduced blood supply and neuropathy.
Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the feet which means a small problem such as a blister or cut can take longer than usual to heal and has a higher chance of becoming infected. Diabetes can also affect the nerves that supply your feet which means you may lose sensation or muscle function in your feet, this is termed diabetic neuropathy.
Anyone can develop corns and calluses, but in people with diabetes they are particularly problematic due to the reduced blood supply and altered sensation. The hardened skin can become too thick (unnoticed due to the neuropathy) and the skin underneath can break down, ulcerate and can become infected.
There is a similar story for thickened toe nails or ingrowing toe nails, they can lead to a break down of healthy skin, leading to ulceration and infection.
It is important that anybody with diabetes who has a common foot problem visits a podiatrist! At
LR Podiatry, we would assess the blood vessels and nerves that supply your feet. We would trim and reduce the thickness of the nails and remove any hard skin to prevent any future foot problems.
If you have any questions about look after your feet.
This blog was written by Leo Hartley, Podiatrist.