Nerve Damage (neuropathy): This causes loss of feeling in the foot, which normally protects the foot from injury. The protective sensations of sharp/dull, hot /cold, pressure and vibration become altered or lost completely. Furthermore, nerve damage causes toe deformities, collapse of the arch, and dry skin. These problems may result in foot ulcers and infections, which may progress rapidly to gangrene and amputation. However: Daily foot care and regular visits to the podiatrist can prevent ulcerations and infections.
Loss of circulation (angiopathy): Poor circulation may be difficult to treat. If circulation is poor gangrene and amputation may be unavoidable. Cigarette smoking should be avoided. Smoking can significantly reduce the circulation to the feet significantly. There are certain medications available for improving circulation (Trental) and by-pass surgery may be necessary to improve circulation to the feet. Chelation therapy is an alternative form of treatment for circulatory problems that is not well recognized by the medical community at large. Daily foot care and regular visits to the podiatrist can often prevent or delay the need for amputation.
2. EXAMINE YOUR SHOES DAILY
Check the insides of your shoes, using your hands, for:
Foreign Objects (stones, tacks)
Do Not Walk Barefoot – Sharp objects or rough surfaces can cause cuts, blisters, and other injuries.
Do Not Use Heat on the Feet – Heat can cause a serious burn, especially if the patient has neuropathy.
Do Not Apply a Heating Pad to the Feet
Do Not Soak Your Feet in Hot Water
Do Not Use Chemicals or Sharp Instruments to Trim Calluses – This could cause cuts and blisters that may become infected.
Do Not Cut Nails into the Corners – cut nails straight across.
Do Not Smoke – smoking reduces the circulation to your feet.