The risk of foot fungus and diabetes

Toenail and foot fungus are all too common problems for people with diabetes.

This article is dedicated to informing diabetics about the dangers to them from fungal infections and how to stop fungus transferring to their nails and feet.

Fungal fast action

If someone with diabetes develops a fungal infection, it’s a good idea for them to have the issue checked out with a doctor. By not acting quickly and seeking advice, many diabetics put themselves at risk because they, more than most, need to prevent the fungus and infection spreading.

No sensitivity

Because diabetes frequently causes nerve damage, especially in the extremities of the body there exists a serious problem. This is due to a lack of feeling and sensitivity in these peripheral body parts such as the feet.

Athletes Foot, Fungi and diabetics  

To put this into some kind of perspective let’s imagine for a moment watching a man hold his hand over a flame. Amazingly, he doesn’t draw away or make any sound. He seems immune to pain almost in some hypnotic trance state. Through not sensing any discomfort, this guy allows the flame to keep burning its way into his hand, but he still persists.

Although this scenario has dramatic overtones, from a practical standpoint, it is illustrative. It does communicate the risk diabetics have in not realizing their feet have been injured because of loss of feeling. It’s a problem which diabetics with neuropathy (nerve damage) need to address.

Gateways to diabetics getting fungal infection

If diabetics have a cut or an open sore on the foot, many of them can just tend to keep walking around and do nothing because they feel little or no pain. As time passes their feet get infected by fungus through wounds or cracks in the skin. If they have a pre-existing case of Athlete’s Foot or nail infection this can be transferred to the site of the wound. All this is bad news for diabetics because they are vulnerable to developing serious complications. They have lower immunity rates compared with the rest of the population. Once infection sets in, there’s a tendency not to heal well and therefore, they risk things like gangrene and toe or foot amputations.

Being observant to foot infections  

The remedy for them is really prevention. This means being extra vigilant where their feet are concerned. In practical terms they need to make daily checks on their feet and toes.

Things they should be on the lookout for include, any sharp items on or sticking into their feet. For instance, they should shake out and look inside their footwear before putting it on. Anything which potentially can be abrasive must be removed. This includes checking socks too. Diabetics need to be aware of things such as twigs, glass shards, pieces of metal, wood and hard plastic fragments or small stones.

It’s even a good idea to turn socks inside-out. Not only to clear a sock but also so the seams can’t make contact with the toes and rub away at the skin.

Fungus does not like cleanliness

It’s also good practice for diabetics to wash their feet daily. After a thorough drying with a towel, they should do visual checks to ascertain any problems. For difficult to see spots, it’s advised to use a hand mirror to help them view hard to access locations.

Just keep changing

Regularly changing socks is very important. By doing this every day, fungus gets less opportunity to take hold, grow and spread. If socks are not changed every day, they are more likely to harbor fungus. If possible, it is advised that socks should be boil washed to kill fungus.

When paying a little more beats fungus

Although more costly, the benefit of buying footwear more frequently can help reduce the spread of infections. The older the footwear the more chance sweat and moisture has to encourage fungal growth. This is especially true in the case of sports footwear.

Sterilize to prevent infections

To reduce the spread of infections further, toe nail clippers and trimmers should be sterilized regularly.