Patients often tell me they soaked their feet, most often in water and Epsom salts, before coming to the office in order to soften their skin. Although soaking in Epsom salts may leave your feet and ankles feeling soothes and relaxed, it is not neccessary to do before coming into the office to see the doctor. In fact, soaking in water actually achieves the exact opposite; it strips the skin of all its natural oils so the initial result for a few minutes after drying is that the skin is soft, but in the long run, the skin is drier than ever. Often diabetes affects the autonomic nervous system, which in itself can cause extreme dryness. In addition, diabetic neuropathy may leave patients with decreased sense of temperature, so the danger occurs when the water is too hot, it can leave the skin damaged or even scalded. So the verdict is: except in special circumstances instructed by your doctor, as a diabetic, you are better off keeping those feet and toes dry. To treat excessively dry skin, visit our office at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle and we can recommend urea cream or other products after a full evaluation.
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