People with diabetes are at risk for developing foot problems that can be potentially severe. With a diabetic foot, minor injuries can become major emergencies. A wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can cause a lot of damage.
Your feet can be affected by two conditions associated to diabetes: diabetic neuropathy (loss of nerve function and sensation) and peripheral arterial disease (blockage of the arteries of the leg restricting blood flow to the feet). Lack of sensation/pain can allow wounds to progress silently and lack of blood flow delays wound healing.
These two conditions can lead to:
- Diabetic foot ulcers: wounds that do not heal or become infected
- Infections: skin infections (cellulitis), bone infections (osteomyelitis) and pus collections (abscesses)
- Gangrene: dead tissue resulting from complete loss of circulation
- Arthropathy (Charcot Foot): fractures and dislocations that may result in severe deformities
- Amputation: partial foot, whole foot or below-knee amputation
All people with diabetes should make sure to monitor and take care of their feet regularly.