For diabetics suffering from neuropathy, proper foot care is necessary to live a happy and healthy life.

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.

If you are diabetic, you need to know how to take care of your feet!
If you are diabetic, you need to know how to take care of your feet!

This condition can manifest in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce the insulin necessary to convert glucose into the energy that the body needs. Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, occurs when the body is unable to use insulin properly.

It has been estimated that between 60 to 70 percent of diabetics will deal with some form of neuropathy in their lifetime, compared to only a 25 to 30 percent chance for non-diabetics.

For diabetics already living with neuropathy, or those who may deal with it in the future, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry has come up with several helpful tips to help keep your feet healthy:

Check your feet regularly: Regular foot checks are an increasingly essential part of diabetes management as nerve damage and reduced circulation caused by diabetes can lead to reduced awareness of pain and slower healing of the foot. Foot problems are one of the most common complications associated with diabetes and it’s important to check your feet daily for signs of damage in order to avoid future problems. In severe cases, poor foot care may lead to amputation of a foot or leg. In fact, even something as minimal as a blister or a sore could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound.

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Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of connective tissue running from your heel bone to the front of your foot.

(Learn how to prevent Plantar Fasciitis)
(Learn how to prevent Plantar Fasciitis)

The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet. When too much pressure is placed on the area, however, it can damage or tear the tissue.

The body’s natural response to this type of injury is inflammation, which results in the heel pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis. Inflammation also makes the fascia more prone to microtears, which can lead to debilitating pain.

The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
  • Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest.
  • Greater pain after exercise or activity

A recent study showed that there are approximately 2 million people being treated for plantar fasciitis every year in the United States.

With these helpful tips, however, we hope that you won’t be one of them:

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If you are suffering from cracked feet it’s more than likely that you have a common condition known simply as dry skin.

Learn how to care for dry, cracked feet!
Learn how to care for dry, cracked feet!

This fairly common condition can range from simple dry skin to painful, peeling or flaking areas of the skin and/or red, itchy patches. It most commonly occurs on the heels, ball of foot, or sides of the foot.

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is usually considered a cosmetic problem, but if left untreated it can lead to a variety of far more serious problems.

Causes

Dry feet are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. There are several common factors that can lead to dry feet, including:

  • Excessively hot showers or baths
  • Skin conditions such as eczema
  • Using non-moisturizing soaps
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease
  • Cold weather
  • Physical Stress
  • Low humidity
  • Aging
  • Lengthy exposure to the sun

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Medically known as bromodosis, smelly feet are a common year-round problem, especially for those living in the torrid climate of South Florida.

Why do feet smell?
Why do feet smell?

This unpleasant foot odor occurs when sweat mixes with bacteria that live on your skin and in your shoes, producing an acid byproduct that can leave you holding your nose in disgust.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely stop your feet from sweating, regardless of the temperature or time of year. There are roughly 250,000 sweat glands in your feet — the largest concentration of sweat glands in the entire body — that produce around a pint of moisture every day. And unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body, the sweat glands in your feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.

The main causes of foot odor are:

Poor personal hygiene: By not washing your body regularly, you fail to slow down the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.

Hormones: You excrete more sweat during hormonal changes, meaning teenagers going through puberty and pregnant women are at a higher risk for foot odor.

Fungal Infections: Any sort of fungal infection on your feet, such as athlete’s foot, can create foot odor.

Hyperhidrosis: A medical condition that causes your body to sweat more than usual.

Stress: Anxiety and stress trigger the release of a stress hormone called “cortisol,” which in turn stimulates the sweat glands.

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Calluses can develop on hands, feet, or anywhere there is repeated friction. The common callus usually occurs when there’s been a lot of rubbing against the hands or feet.

Foot calluses typically have a yellowed or grayish coloration and can be unsightly and painful. A plantar callus is found on the bottom of the foot.

How to get rid of calluses (www.DelrayBeachPodiatry.com)
How to get rid of calluses (www.DelrayBeachPodiatry.com)

The feet typically develop calluses from an improper walking motion or ill-fitting shoes that create unwanted friction as you move. High-heeled shoes, which put added pressure on toes, are one of the worst offenders and the main reason why women are four times more likely to have foot problems than men.

Luckily, calluses are not permanent. By following some of the treatment steps below, you should be callus-free in no time!

Find the Source

When dealing with calluses, it’s important to first find the source of your problem. If this pesky source of friction and aggravation isn’t alleviated, your corns and calluses will not heal, and removal will be followed by recurrence. The best place to start when searching for the source would be your shoes as ill-fitting shoes often do not have enough toe space and constrict the toes together. In some cases, a podiatrist may be called upon to craft a custom-made orthotic in order to get the right fit for those who suffer from chronic calluses.

Soak and Scrub

Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes. As you do this, your skin should start to soften. You may add Epsom salts or other ingredients to your soak, but they’re not necessary. With a back-and-forth motion and moderate pressure, rub a wet pumice stone over the growths, sanding the corns and calluses down, intermittently rinsing to remove pumice stone particles. Do not overly scrub your feet and stop immediately if you begin to feel pain.

Don’t Forget to Dry

After a good soak and scrub, make sure to dry your affected area completely if you’re interested in getting rid of calluses on feet permanently. It is important that you don’t allow it to remain damp. You should always use towel to remove the moisture. You can also apply a topical antibiotic to the area where the callus was and to surrounding skin in order to lower the risk of infection. If you got too close to the skin, use a bandage to protect the wound.

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