Diabetes and Foot Problems Slideshow

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on Friday, October 17, 2008

For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot complications.

Elevated blood glucose levels can cause foot problems.

Diabetic neuropathy is a lack of feeling accompanied by tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in your legs and feet due to nerve damage.

Doctor testing for feeling on a patient's foot.

Peripheral vascular disease causes poor blood flow in the arms and legs that can affect the ability of a sore or cut to heal, leading to ulcers or gangrene.

Foot with ulcers due to the loss of adequate blood circulation to the feet.

Common foot problems of people with diabetes can lead to serious complications.

Diabetes check box.

Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness, and cracking.

Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness, and cracking.

Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discolored, thick and brittle, and may separate from the rest of the nail.

Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discolored, thick and brittle, and may separate from the rest of the nail.

Calluses are a build-up of hard skin, usually on the underside of the foot caused by an uneven distribution of weight.

Calluses are a build-up of hard skin, usually on the underside of the foot caused by an uneven distribution of weight.

Corns are a build-up of hard skin near a bony area of a toe or between toes.

Corns are a build-up of hard skin near a bony area of a toe or between toes.

Blisters can form when your shoes rub the same spot on your foot.

Blisters can form when your shoes rub the same spot on your foot

Bunions form when the big toe angles toward the second toe and becomes red and callused (where the big toe joins the rest of the foot).

Bunions form when the big toe angles toward the second toe and becomes red and callused (where the big toe joins the rest of the foot).

Dry skin can crack, allowing germs to enter.

Dry skin can crack, allowing germs to enter.








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A foot ulcer is a break in the skin or a deep sore which can become infected.

Infected foot ulceration requiring surgery to drain the underlying abscess.

A hammertoe is a toe that is bent because of a weakened muscle that makes the tendons shorter, causing the toes to curl under the feet.

A hammertoe is a toe that is bent because of a weakened muscle that makes the tendons shorter, causing the toes to curl under the feet.

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nail grow into the skin causing redness, swelling, pain, drainage, and infection.

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nail grow into the skin causing redness, swelling, pain, drainage, and infection.

Plantar warts look like calluses on the ball of the foot or on the heel and are caused by a virus that infects the outer layer of skin.

Plantar warts look like calluses on the ball of the foot or on the heel and are caused by a virus that infects the outer layer of skin.

Learn how to prevent foot problems if you have diabetes.

Learn how to prevent foot problems if you have diabetes.

Take care of your diabetes by keeping your blood glucose level within the range recommended by your doctor.

Take care of your diabetes by keeping your blood glucose level within the range recommended by your doctor.

Check and examine your feet every day.

Check and examine your feet every day.

Wash your feet every day and keep them nice and moisturized by applying lotion.

Wash your feet every day and keep them nice and moisturized by applying lotion.

Smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone.

Smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone.

Check and trim your toenails once a week.

Check and trim your toenails once a week.

Wear socks or stockings and proper shoes at all times.

Wear socks or stockings and proper shoes at all times.

Put your feet up to maintain good blood flow.

Put your feet up to maintain good blood flow.

Smoking can make blood flow problems worse.

Smoking can make blood flow problems worse.

Visit your doctor or podiatrist for regular check-ups
on your feet, even if you don't have any foot problems.

Visit your doctor or podiatrist for regular check-ups on your feet, even if you don't have any foot problems.

When should I contact my doctor?

Nurse receiving call for patient appointment.

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