Peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves of the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Peripheral neuropathy can lead to sores that can become infected and may not heal, resulting in infections, amputations or loss of life.
Peripheral neuropathy affects sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves, resulting in decreased ability to sense pain and temperature, causing deformities to worsen such as hammertoes, and decreasing the ability to perform certain involuntary functions, such as sweating. People with peripheral neuropathy are prone to developing sores that can become infected and may not heal, resulting in infections, amputations, and even death.
Symptoms may include numbness or tingling, pain or burning, worsening or corns, calluses or dry/ cracked skin, muscle weakness or loss of balance contributing to development of foot deformities.
Treatment is focused around reducing blood sugar levels and managing symptoms. Symptoms may be managed with oral medications. Physical therapy may be recommended to address balance concerns. Prevention of related complications is most important. This can be accomplished by keeping blood sugar levels under control, wearing proper fitting shoes, daily foot inspections and regular follow up visits with your foot and ankle specialist as well as your PCP and / or endocrinologist.
Keep your nails trimmed back. Trimming a minimum of every 6-8 weeks is recommended. Use alcohol to clean all instruments which are used for nail trimming. Formaldehyde free brands or anti-fungal brands of nail polish are recommended. When in public places such as locker rooms, saunas, hot tubs or pools bring a pair of sandals or flip flips to wear. Avoiding letting your feet become wet for prolonged periods of time. If your feet sweat a lot, be sure to change your socks more frequently.
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