19 may 2021


People suffering from Diabetes need to take care of their blood sugar levels.

High sugar levels can cause damage to many important parts of the body such as heart, liver, kidney, eyes and brain. It can cause damage to the nerves in the feet causing a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

So people need to take extra care to protect their feet from infection. Damaged nerves slow down the recovery of infected feet and may further cause loss of sensation too.

A person who has damaged nerves may not realize if they have suffered any cut while walking barefoot across. If the wounds on feet are left untreated it may cause serious infections and may even lead to leg amputation. So it becomes very important for diabetic patients to take care of their feet daily.

Diabetes can be managed by taking medicines regularly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping a check on routine investigations such as monitoring sugar levels, HbA1C, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Following some simple tips like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and taking care of feet can definitely help people from complications.


Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet:


In this condition, uncontrolled sugar levels can damage the functioning of nerves of the legs and foot region. If the nerves are damaged the person might not feel the sensation of heat, cold and pain there. This condition is called sensory diabetic neuropathy. At times the person doesn’t feel the pain of cut, bruise or any infection because of neuropathy and later the condition worsens.


Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called “peripheral vascular disease”.

High blood sugar levels affect the flow of blood.

If any person has an infection, then due to diabetes the person is at risk of developing ulcers or gangrene.

Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy includes :

  • Throbbing or burning pain.
  • Pain in calf muscles while walking is also called claudication.
  • Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, which can spread upward into your legs and arms
  • Lack of coordination and muscle weakness.
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Feeling of a sensation such as wearing gloves or socks or as if creeping ants.
  • Excessive sweating or sometimes not able to sweat.
  • Fungal infection between the toes.
  • Thickening or hardening of the skin develops into corn or callus.
  • Foot ulcers or any injury or sometimes cellulitis.
  • If left untreated or if not treated on time it may lead to Gangrene which leads to amputation of the leg.

Some investigations related to diabetic footcare should be done which may help in detecting the root cause of the foot infection, such as

  • Blood investigations
  • Checking for loss of sensations like hot and cold, pressure sensation which can be done with the help of monofilament and vibration sensation done with the help of 128 Hz tuning fork.
  • Special investigations like Ankle Brachial Index, Biothesiometry and Podiascan can also be done.

Biothesiometry is a rapid, portable, and sensitive method to identify subclinical neuropathy and to monitor the progress of the disease.

Podiascan is a simple, non-invasive procedure that helps in assessing abnormalities of the nerves based on the plantar distribution of pressure.

Ankle Brachial Index test is also a quick and non-invasive way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD).

In some cases treating doctor may ask the patient to do arterial Doppler, peripheral angiography and nerve conduction studies for further evaluation.

Few simple steps should be followed daily in taking care of the foot in order to avoid complications.

1. Inspecting foot

Inspecting the tops, sides, soles, heels and the area in between the toes should be done daily. If the person is unable to inspect their own feet, it is advisable to use a mirror or can ask for somebody’s help.

If there is any redness, cuts, blisters or bruises observed, it should be noted down and should consult the treating doctor immediately.

2. Washing foot daily

Foot should be washed daily with warm water and mild soap. Due to diabetes it may be difficult to sense water temperature, so using hot water and harsh soaps should be avoided. It may cause injury to the skin so warm water should be used.

3. Dry your feet

Foot should be kept dry as infections tend to develop in moist areas.

The areas between the toes should also be kept dry.

4. Moisturize dry skin

Use a moisturizer, any lotion or oil to keep feet moist whenever there is a feeling of dryness.

Lotion should not be used between the toes as there may be a development of infection.

5. Do not attempt to remove callus / corns

A person should never try removing corns, calluses, warts, or other foot lesions on their own neither they should use any chemicals to self treat the infection on the foot.

6. Avoid walking barefoot

Walking barefoot can cause sores and injuries leading to infection, so diabetic people are advised to use footwear to avoid any injuries.

7. Cover your feet

In winter loose socks should be worn and the foot should be covered, kept warm.

8) Trimming nails

Nails should be cut or trimmed in a straight so as to avoid ingrowing nails.

9) Avoid smoking
10) If there is any injury or development of an ulcer, the treating doctor should be informed and consulted immediately.

All these daily care tips will definitely help in avoiding complications of the foot.

Proper control of sugar levels, maintaining hygiene and health of the foot would help in keeping the foot safe.

Diabetic patients should always keep a check on their health with respect to vital organs and get yearly check-up done.

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and Keep Smiling!
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