Diabetes can lead to serious foot problems such as neuropathy (nerve damage which causes reduced or loss of sensation) and wounds called ulcers. People with diabetes are more prone to skin conditions and infections.
Neuropathy can lead to secondary conditions such as bunions, hammer toes and Charcot Foot (collapse of the Charcot joint in the middle of the foot). Ulcers are typically caused by excessive friction or pressure and cuts or scrapes to the foot that do not heal. People with neuropathy often cut or injure their feet unknowingly because of the lost sensation, and this can lead to an ulcer because often the injury goes undetected.
Symptoms of neuropathy include numbness, loss of feeling, tingling, burning and sometimes pain in the feet and hands. Ulcers may begin as a blister, discolouration, bruise, cut, or sore that does not begin to heal within two days. Regular checks by a health professional are important to prevent foot complications from diabetes. Always wear shoes or footwear inside and outside of the house. Inspect feet daily for signs of infected nails, discolouration, callus and corns, bruising, cuts or sores.