We see a large number of patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The primary reason that it is recommended that diabetics see a podiatrist is to examine the feet for blood flow, sensation and any signs of pressure points. Pressure points most commonly appear as calluses on the skin. These can be at the tips of the toes, the ball of the foot, the heel or really anywhere technically! Some of our patients tell us that they never had a problem until a callus was cut "too low". While this may sometimes be the case, it usually is a bit of a different story.
Ulcers in patients with diabetes often appear as blisters or calluses. Sometimes the callus may seem to fall off on its own or begin to drain and that can be what spurs you to come in and be seen. In many other cases, ulcerations actually lie deep underneath a callus. Calluses build up on the skin as a protective mechanism. The skin is trying to thicken and toughen up to withstand pressure and friction. However, calluses can quickly get so thick that they act as a foreign body on the skin and the friction placed on the callus can transfer to the deeper, weaker skin and cause it to open. The callus can sit on top of this weak or opened skin for a long time and when the callus is then trimmed, the ulceration will be revealed.
It is important to be aware that any callus on your foot may in fact have an open lesion hiding deep underneath. If you are a diabetic patient and you have calluses on your feet, the sooner you see a podiatrist, the better! When calluses are trimmed and accommodated sooner, there are a lot less complications to worry about!
Contact us at PPFAC today if you are a diabetic and have worries about your feet - or even if you just want to have your feet checked out!