Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States with more than 29 million Americans affected. Diabetes is a lifelong disease of the metabolism. When a person has diabetes, their body is unable to produce enough insulin and there is an elevated level of glucose in their blood. The good news is that diabetes is a manageable disease that can be treated with lifestyle changes and medicine. Those who suffer from diabetes should also be aware that they are at greater risk for other health problems, including foot problems.
Ingrown toenails are a painful nuisance for many people. They happen when the side or corner of the toenail grows into the surrounding flesh. Pain, swelling, and redness are the most common issues with ingrown toenails; infection is also a possibility. Because of poor blood flow, people with diabetes are at a greater risk of getting ingrown toenails. For those who have diabetes and who are developing ingrown toenails, aggressive treatment is a must. Nails should be trimmed straight across in order to prevent them from becoming ingrown. The best home remedy for ingrown toenails is to soak them in warm water for a few minutes up to 3 times a day. If this doesn't help, then a podiatrist may need to remove the ingrown nail.
Another foot problem that can be very problematic for people with diabetes is calluses. Calluses are simply hardened or thickened areas of skin that can build up on areas of the feet that experience higher pressure. Diabetics are more likely to form calluses and must treat them promptly. Calluses can be treated with pumice stones or can be cut by medical professionals. Overtime, if not treated, calluses can either hide or lead to ulcers. Ulcers are more serious open wounds that can become infected and eventually lead to amputation.
Choosing The Right Shoes
Since these foot issues can actually be very problematic for those who suffer from diabetes, choosing the right shoes is very important. Ill fitting shoes that are too tight have been known to cause ingrown toenails. High heels are often a culprit as well. These types of shoes should be avoided or worn infrequently by those who have diabetes. Any shoes that cause calluses, such as ones with ill-fitting straps, should also be avoided by those who have diabetes. Another type of shoe to avoid? Flip flops! Flip flops can lead to cuts and sores since they leave the foot exposed. It is recommended that people with diabetes avoid these shoes.
What many people are unaware of is that those who have diabetes must pay special attention to their feet. Things such as ingrown toenails and calluses are more likely and can lead to serious infection if not treated. People with diabetes should also choose their shoes very carefully.
For professional treatment of your feet problems, visit a clinic like Camden County Foot & Ankle Center.