Dry and cracked skin can happen because the nerves in your legs and feet do not get the message to keep your skin soft and moist. Dry skin can become cracked. Cracks allow germs to enter and cause infection. If your blood glucose is high, it feeds the germs and makes the infection worse.
Athlete’s foot is a fungus that causes itchiness, redness, and cracking of the skin. The cracks between the toes allow germs to get under the skin and cause infection. If your blood glucose is high, it feeds the germs and makes the infection worse. The infection can spread to the toenails and make them thick, yellow, and hard to cut.
Treatment of Foot Problems with Diabetes
Treatment depends on the presence and severity of foot ulcers. The superficial ulcers are primarily treated by cleaning it and removing dead skin and tissue (debridement) by a doctor. There are a number of debridement techniques available.
Ulcers that extend into the deeper layers of the foot, involving muscle and bone, usually require hospitalization. More extensive laboratory testing and x-rays may be done, and intravenous antibiotics are often necessary. Surgery may be necessary to remove infected bone or to place a cast on the foot to take pressure off the ulcer.
If part of the toes or foot become severely damaged, causing areas of dead tissue (gangrene), partial or complete amputation may be required. Amputation is reserved for patients who do not heal despite aggressive treatment, or whose health is threatened by the gangrene. Untreated gangrene can be life-threatening.
What can I do to take care of my skin?
- After you wash with a mild soap, make sure you rinse and dry yourself well. Check places where water can hide, such as under the arms, under the breasts, between the legs, and between the toes.
- Keep your skin moist by washing with a mild soap and using lotion or cream after you wash.
- Keep your skin moist by using a lotion or cream after you wash. Ask your doctor to suggest one.
- Drink lots of fluids, such as water, to keep your skin moist and healthy.
- Wear all-cotton underwear. Cotton allows air to move around your body better.
- Check your skin after you wash. Make sure you have no dry, red, or sore spots that might lead to an infection.
- Tell your doctor about any skin problems.
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