Diabetes can cause a number of different health problems, but the increased risk to feet is sometimes overlooked.
Raised blood glucose levels may, over time, cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the legs and feet. This can result in loss of feeling, which means someone with diabetes may not feel an injury or notice changes in the condition of their feet.
Damage to the nerves and blood vessels can also cause reduced blood circulation, leading to pain in the feet and legs, slower wound healing, and the skin and nails on the feet becoming thin and dry.
Dry skin may crack, causing fissures (breaks in the skin)–this creates an entry point for bacteria, opening the door to infection
Dry skin can also build up to form callus (a thick and tough area of skin, which can cause problems under the skin which can’t be seen)
Minor foot problems and injuries can worsen and lead to foot ulcers, which are a serious health problem. If left untreated, ulcers can get worse and in extreme cases may even lead to amputation.
It is important that you know your risk level for developing foot problems so you can take steps to reduce your risk status and keep it low. If you don’t know your level of risk, ask your GP or practice nurse. You should have a foot check with your doctor or nurse at least once a year.
Contact your GP or practice nurse to arrange a foot check as soon as possible. Make sure you know your risk status at the end of the foot check.
This means you should know your official risk status. If you do not know it, make another appointment for a foot check with your GP or practice nurse as soon as you can.
You need to have another foot check now. Contact your GP or practice nurse to arrange a foot check as soon as possible. Make sure you know your risk status at the end of the foot check.
Quickly improve skin dryness
Maintain skin flexibility to prevent cracks and fissures
Reduce the build-up of thick skin and callus
Improve the skin's ability to be hydrated and stay hydrated
Flexitol is an emollient option which treats dry and cracked heels and feet with intensive, urea-based moisturisation. It can also be used regularly to keep otherwise healthy feet in good condition and stop the dry skin cycle.
Flexitol 25% Urea Heel Balm can be used to treat dry, cracked skin on the heels and feet, and Flexitol 10% Urea Cream can then maintain your skin once it is rehydrated.
These photographs show the feet of a 59-year-old man with diabetes, who came to his care team with dry skin and callus on his heels. After checking his feet, the care team prescribed him a 2-week course of Flexitol 25% Urea Heel Balm to treat the dry skin and callus. He applied the Heel Balm every day for 2 weeks and, as can be seen, his skin greatly improved. He was very pleased with the results and his care team instructed him to continue daily maintenance of his feet by applying 10% Urea Cream, to prevent the return of the dry skin.
Restoring the skin has reduced the opportunity for bacteria to enter and cause infection. Also, the treatment of callus reduces the pressure under the surface of the skin. This is important because pressure can cause damage under the skin surface, which can lead to ulcers.