You may think of diabetes as a blood sugar problem, and it is. But the nerve and blood vessel damage caused by diabetes can also become a problem for your feet if you develop neuropathy (which occurs in about 70 percent of people with diabetes) and lose feeling in your feet or hands or get an infection.
Nerve damage is a complication of diabetes that makes it hard to feel when you have sores or cracks in your feet. “Patients with diabetes are looking for any changes in color, sores, or dry, cracked skin,” says Dr. Jeremiah Graff. Place a mirror on the floor to see under your feet or ask a friend or relative for help if you can’t see all parts of your feet clearly.
When people with diabetes develop nerve damage or neuropathy, it’s hard to tell if the bath water is too hot. “They won’t realize they are actually scalding their skin,” explains Dr. Tillet. Stepping into a bath before checking the temperature can cause serious damage to your feet, and burns and blisters are open doors to infection. Use your elbow to check the water temperature before getting into the tub or shower.