An itchy diabetic foot requires special attention. Itching can also occur before a skin lesion, due to dry skin, skin pathology or arteriopathy. In this case, there is a significant risk of infection or even amputation. In the case of itchy feet, there are treatments available depending on the cause of the itching. It is therefore important to consult a doctor and to adopt certain preventive measures. Podexpert explains everything.
What is the diabetic foot?
Diabetic foot is a consequence of diabetes. It is characterized in particular by chronic wounds, caused by a weakening of the blood vessels. The sensory neuropathy (loss of sensitivity) associated with diabetic foot often leads to a late diagnosis in case of lesions. This is why the risks of infection and even amputation are particularly high and require increased vigilance.
Can diabetes cause itching?
Yes, diabetes can cause itching. Their causes are diverse (sensitive neuropathy, lesions, etc.) and commonly associated with diabetic complications. Therefore, this symptom of diabetic foot is relatively frequent.
Why does it itch under my foot?
There are several causes of itchy feet in diabetes:
- Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage resulting in burning and tingling sensations);
- Appearance of wounds with production of inflammatory substances by the immune system (cytokines);
- Development of sensory neuropathy;
- Poor blood circulation due to arterial disease.
- Skin pathologies (psoriasis, etc.);
- Dry skin.
What are the complications of diabetic foot?
The diabetic foot is the cause of serious complications. Indeed, the poor blood circulation linked to diabetes weakens the tissues and favors the appearance of skin lesions. A diabetic foot is usually insensitive to pain, resulting in a delayed diagnosis. In addition, if there is itching associated with the wound, the patient tends to scratch heavily, which increases the risk of superinfection.
The most severe cases attack the bone (osteitis). In order to stop the spread of gangrene, amputation of one or more toes, or even the foot, is sometimes necessary. This can also lead to deformities of the diabetic foot.
What are the preventive measures to adopt?
If you experience itching, consult a doctor. He or she will diagnose the cause of the itching and prescribe a treatment to relieve you.
The diabetic foot can cause serious complications and must also be associated with daily preventive measures. It is important to :
- Maintain a certain stability of blood glucose levels. A healthy lifestyle (balanced diet, physical activity, etc.) helps control blood sugar levels. Prescription of antidiabetic drugs is sometimes necessary.
- Wear appropriate shoes for diabetic. Often insensitive, the diabetic foot must be protected in order to limit the risk of injuries detected late. Choose wide models with good support. Make sure the shoes have a padded inner lining with no protruding seams. Finally, opt for cotton socks that reduce the phenomenon of perspiration.
- Monitor the sole of the foot carefully to ensure prompt attention in case of wounds, fungus, etc.
- Regularly consult a pedicure-podologist to remove horns, treat calluses, cut nails, etc. This specialist will also be able to make orthotics for you in case of poor footing.
- Wash with a mild soap, followed by a complete drying.
Moisturize the skin with a moisturizing milk. Note, however, that the product should not be applied between the toes to avoid causing bacterial and fungal infections. You should also use a neutral milk, without perfume or hypoallergenic substances.
Author : Pierre Durrmann – Pedorthist and diabetic foot specialist