Double Trouble from Common Foot Problems - Part One

Common foot problems doesn't mean without trouble.

Joy Pape By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

Foot problems are common to mankind. Common doesn't mean without trouble. If you have diabetes, you can have double trouble from what many consider common foot problems.

This month we'll talk about blisters, a common problem for anyone who wears shoes. If you want to know how common it is, just look at people's feet in the summer. If you see an adhesive bandage you can almost be assured there was a blister there at one time.

Blisters

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Double Trouble - A blister on top of a bunion.

Blisters are most often caused by your shoes rubbing on the same spot. Wearing poor-fitting shoes or shoes without socks or stockings are often the cause. They can also be caused by touching a very hot object, such as walking barefoot on hot pavement, sand, or having your feet in water that is too hot.

When a blister opens, it is then a sore. Your body has lost its first line of protection from the outside world, your skin. Infection can get into the sore then into your body. If your blood glucose is elevated or you have a problem with circulation, you will have more difficulty healing. If not taken care of correctly, this seemingly small blister can lead to an amputation.

Preventing and caring for blisters on your feet

  • Get and keep your blood glucose and blood pressure to as near normal levels as possible and safe for you.
  • Wear shoes that fit.
  • Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes.
  • Don't walk barefoot, especially on very hot or cold ground.
  • Check your bathwater and shower temperature with your elbow rather than your feet to make sure the water is not too hot. Or, use a bath thermometer. Water temperature should be below 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Break in new shoes by wearing them only a few hours a day at first. Check your feet to make sure you don't have any blisters or red areas. If you do, you should not wear those shoes, no matter how good looking they are or no matter how much they cost.
  • If you do have a blister DO NOT OPEN IT! Protect it by using an adhesive bandage or other type of dressing recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Wear shoes that don't rub on the area.
  • If the area or around the area is red, warm, swollen, or painful, contact your healthcare provider right away. What seems like a common foot problem is not so common when you have diabetes. Better to have it looked at now rather than taking the chance of it getting worse and possibly losing a foot.

Remember, when it comes to diabetes and your feet: Prevention is your best treatment!

Next month: The bane of dressy shoes – bunions.

EnJOY! wearing shoes that fit!

Read Joy's bio here.

Read more of Joy Pape's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

NEXT: Double Trouble - Part 2

Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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