As diabetic patients age or the duration of diabetes increases, they may develop diminished sensation and decreased peripheral circulation in the feet and thus are at an increased risk of developing foot infections, especially in those will poorly regulated diabetes.
COMMON PROBLEMS IN DIABETIC FOOT:
1. Decreased Blood Supply (Ischaemia):
The ischaemic leg, besides absent or reduced pulses, also has other characteristic features.The skin may become thin and there is usually loss of hair on the foot and ankle. Fissures are very common and ulcers may be painful. It may also be cold to touch.
2. Decreased Sensation (Neuropathy):
The neuropathic foot also has some characteristic features. The feet tend to be warm and dry and relatively insensitive to touch. Neuropathy may affect the muscles of the foot causing clawing of the foot. All this causes the fat pads covering the bones of the feet to be moved away from its position. Thus exposing it to weight bearing areas. Any weight bearing area without adequate protection tends to open and form a wound called as an ulcer. In order to protect the leg, nature offers a mechanism by which it thickens the skin to avoid forming a wound. This protective mechanism will lead to problems such as callus and corns in later stages due to irritation ofthe tissues beneath. These can break down and lead to ulcers.
Both Ischaemic and neuropathic lesions are commonly complicated by infection. Common symptoms of infection are fever, redness, swelling or pain. Pus may also be seen in the lesions.
4. Combined Lesions:
It is common for a patient to have all the processes mentioned above occurring at the same time. Thus a person can have an infected, neuropathic lesion with poor blood circulation. To identify and treat the common problems of diabetic foot every individual with diabetes should know what are the abnormalities to look for in their feet.
Early detection and prompt attention can not only help save feet, they can also be life-saving.
How to look after your feet?
How to self examine your feet?
Feel your feet with your hands for:
Inform your doctor ifany of the above are present!
"LOOK AFTER YOUR FEET AS YOU WOULD LOOK AFTER YOUR FACE"