People who suffer from diabetes sometimes experience nerve damage that keeps them from feeling their feet normally, notes eMedicineHealth. This also impairs the normal oil production that lubricates the skin and the secretion of sweat, making it important to recognize signs of problems before they escalate.
As oil production and sweating become less efficient, anomalous pressure levels can develop on the joints, bones and skin of the foot, and sores can be the result. Because diabetes also damages the blood vessels and hinders the functioning of the immune system, it becomes difficult for these wounds to heal. Instead, bacterial infections can set in to the bones, muscles, connective tissue and skin, according to eMedicineHealth. Over time, these infections can turn into gangrene. Antibiotic treatment is hindered by the same difficulties with the circulatory system. Without early treatment, this can lead to amputation to keep the infection out of the bloodstream, which can be fatal.
Treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved over time. However, prevention, which involves management of blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, is the best way to avoid foot problems, recommends eMedicineHealth. If unusual levels of pain crop up in the feet or sores start to appear, visit the doctor instead of trying to treat feet at home without assistance.