If your “dogs are barking,” it could mean more than just ill-fitting footwear. Your sore, aching, burning or peeling feet can be a warning sign of diabetes, said Sarah Little, MD, a family medicine specialist with Baptist Health Medical Group at Baptist Health Richmond.
Six Symptoms To Discuss With Your Doctor:
- Stinging or burning can indicate diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage. This may also lead to numbness, so may not feel other injuries to your feet
- Calluses and “hot spots,” which can be caused by nerve injuries to the feet that change structure over time
- Dryness, peeling and cracking. “These can make the skin of the feet susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections,” said Dr. Little.
- Changes in color
- Persistently cold feet
- Slow and poor healing
Winter can present extra challenges for those already living with diabetes. Dr. Little said to take extra precautions such as wearing diabetic-friendly socks to keep your feet warm; avoiding hot water, heating pads and foot warmers (you are more prone to burns); and keeping your feet well-moisturized. Also, stay active and keep walking. It will improve circulation to your feet. Consider walking indoors with appropriate diabetic shoes to avoid falls. Also, make sure to take care of your toenails. “Seek the care of a podiatrist if needed,” she said.
Learn more about Diabetes Care at Baptist Health and find a Provider.