Diabetic foot is a dangerous loss of sensation in the feet caused by damage to the nervous system. Often, this loss of sensation can lead to a diabetic foot sufferer not noticing wounds or injuries in the foot, which can lead to additional damage or infection.
Diabetic foot is caused by diabetes, an insulin deficiency that can damage the nervous system, blood vessels and immune system. This damage can result in loss of feeling in the extremities, often in the feet.
A common symptom of a diabetic foot is new or lasting numbness in the foot or leg. Other symptoms can include swelling, pain when walking, loss of hair on the legs and feet, and hard, shiny skin. Severe cases may result in open sores on the foot that can lead to infection.
Treatment of diabetic foot is often dependent on keeping diabetes under control with proper diet, regular medication, exercise and physician care. Preventative care such as regular foot examination, elimination of obstacles in the home, proper footwear and stopping smoking can help prevent damage to the foot.