I have very bad cracked heels and sores on my feet. What can I do?
Diabetes can cause an increase in dry skin, particularly of the feet. If severe enough, the dry skin can then begin to crack, leading to open sores and wounds which can then get infected. If you have sores on your feet, it’s important to let your doctor know about this as soon as possible and have your feet looked at to make sure the areas are not getting infected. Because dry skin on the feet is a common problem in diabetes, we advise people with diabetes to moisturize their feet every day. This includes the whole foot, top and bottom, but not in between the toes (this can sometimes lead to skin breakdown). Over the counter creams usually work fine, but avoid those that have alcohol or heavy perfumes in them because these ingredients can lead to more irritation and dry the feet out even further. Soaking the feet is NOT recommended because it can dry the skin out even further and, if you have loss of feeling in your feet, put you at increased risk for burns. If the dryness is severe enough, over the counter creams do not always work and a prescription may be needed. This you would get from your primary care provider, your diabetes specialist (if you have one) or your podiatrist.
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