Diabetic foot ulcer

Maintaining skin condition

By: Mölnlycke Health Care, July 17 2012Posted in: Diabetic foot ulcer

Why diabetic feet are dry

Many people with diabetes find that the skin on their feet and legs is very dry.
This is because the part of the nervous system that controls the sweating of the feet (the autonomic system) is damaged. This sort of neuropathy reduces or stops sweating altogether.

In addition, a reduction in the blood supply to the legs and feet can cause dryness.
In affected limbs, there may be little hair growth, and the skin may become thin, shiny,
and very dry.

Diabetes can also make the skin and tissues of the foot less flexible.

Callouses (areas of very hard skin) are a sign that the skin is under pressure, and should always be treated professionally by a HPC registered Podiatrist.

Why can dry feet be a problem?

If your feet are dry, they are prone to cracks and tiny breaks in the skin. Infection may enter the body through these cracks, and cause a foot infection.

The crack or break might not heal quickly, and develop into
a bigger crack or hole. This is a foot ulcer – a serious complication of diabetes, and a risk factor for amputation.

 

It is very important to keep the skin of the feet well moisturised to help prevent diabetic foot complications. Emollients are very effective moisturizers that soothe, smooth and hydrate the skin. Emollients keep the skin moist and flexible.
The application of an emollient should be part of your daily foot care routine.

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