Diabetes dry feet

There are many skin complications for diabetes mellitus (DM), some of them are related to dehydration, others are caused by insulin injection and hyperlipidemia. We are going to discuss diabetes dry feet now.

What is meant by diabetes dry feet?

It means that the skin of the feet lost its moisture and gets tense and cracked.

Diabetes dry skin is secondary to loss of function of the peripheral nerves supplying the feet…why?

Because of loss of the sweating in the feet secondary to damage of the nerves, so they will not deliver the brain order to the skin.


The skin becomes tough, dry and cracked especially the heels.

Itching which leads to injury of the skin by the patient’s nails.

These injuries and cracks can harbor infection while the patient is unaware.

The very bad drawbacks of diabetes dry feet are abscess, diabetic gangrene, and amputation as well as sepsis.

Treatment of diabetes dry feet

Keeping the normal blood level of glucose is important.

It is better to use moisturizing or mild soap when washing feet.

Use warm water while washing the feet and avoid using cold or hot water.

Patting the feet gently to dry it after washing and showers and avoid rough rubbing it.

The patient should keep the skin moist by using lotions (avoid in-between toes) and feet creams, immediately after washing it.

Use a pumice stone to soften the calluses and corns regularly, which are manifestations of dryness and pressure. But, avoid using sharp utensils for this.

Other effects of diabetes on the feet

Vascular insufficiency

That’s to say deficient blood flow to the extremities. This will make the healing of wounds and infections difficult and will take a longer time than normal.

Diabetic foot gangrene

It can occur secondary to this improper supply of the blood, so the patient should check his feet and soles regularly in order to detect early signs of troubles.

Peripheral neuropathy

It is a common diabetic complication which means damage to the peripheral nerves secondary to the high glucose level.

It leads to loss of sensations in the feet namely, pain, touch, and temperature. This explains why the diabetic patient can be injured without realizing this.

As a result, the wound can get infected and complicated while the patient is not aware of this, giving rise to gangrene.

So, physicians give the diabetic patient certain instructions to keep his feet injury-free, for instance:

  • Keep wearing footwear and socks at home and outside it.
  • Daily checking the soles using a mirror.
  • Avoid dipping the feet in hot water in the basin before checking its temperature using the elbow or water thermometer.

Abnormal feet alignment

It is secondary to the neuropathy and improper function of the feet muscles, which leads to creating pressure on certain points in the feet and calluses.

There are other complications such as nail fungal infection, corns. bunion…etc.

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