This is a question which is often asked and there are a lot misconceptions out there.
First of all, if you are a diabetic, it is of the utmost importance to learn about your condition. The more you know, the better you will be at noticing:
High sugar levels will affect lower extremity nerves, arteries and everything that they reach. Your feet may be the first area where abnormal changes may be evident. It is important for you to become familiar with your feet, and examine them on a regular basis.
It is best to do a daily evaluation. This would involve looking at the top of your foot, between the toes, and on the bottom. Look for anything that seems abnormal such as redness, areas of callus formation, deformities, drainage, any cuts or bruises. You should be aware of any changes the day that they occur, so that you can be able to identify the problem and look for a solution in a timely manner.
Your skin provides protection from germs and contamination. If there is a cut, abrasion or other injury, your body is weakened from this protection. You should always have a first aid kit that contains fresh supplies such as antibiotic ointment, dressings, or cushioning that can be applied immediately. No open sores should be left unattended!
Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Did you know that during your life, your feet get longer? If you’ve ever heard the term “falling arches,” you may then understand how lowering your arch, in effect, lengthens your feet. Also other factors, such as swelling, will increase the size. As you may already know, shoes these days are being made of a poor quality than they have been in the past. The materials are rougher and do not stretch, and may cause abnormal rubbing when wearing them. An easy test to tell if your shoes are of a proper size is to trace out your feet on a piece of paper at the end of the day, then compare them to your shoes by placing the cut out against the bottom of the shoes. You can get an idea about how much your feet have to be squeezed into the shoes. Then imagine placing your weight on those feet, and moving around all day long. It is no wonder that your feet may be hurting by the end of the day and may feel better when you remove your shoes.
How can you tell if you have something to worry about? If you see any drainage, swelling, discoloration, abnormal smell, with or without pain, there may be a problem. It may be the skin or around the nail plate. If you have any questions, it is best recommended to seek the help of a podiatrist or specialist they can help assist you in determining if a problem exists.
Ingrown toenails: the first indication that there may be a problem is looking at the nail edges and see if they are curving into the flesh. If you feel with your finger any callus formation or roughness around the edges, this indicates that there is pressure between the nail and the toe. There may or may not be pain but looking for any redness or roughness is an indication that problems may be in the future.
Most people who end up undergoing an amputation is likely due to lack of care or understanding about their condition. It is best to evaluate yourself before you have a problem, so that you can be aware of what is considered normal. Then if anything does occur, you will be able to look for the best treatment immediately.
It is always best to seek the help of a professional such as a podiatrist to assist you in early treatment and diagnosing to avoid any problems.