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How to remove the dead skin on lower legs of a diabetic patient ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
I am diabetic have dead skin on lower legs. How to safely remove
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Diabetes
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

First and foremost I would like you to know about the importance of medical examination of the foot in diabetic individuals.

Diabetic patients should get a foot examination at least once in a year. Such examination can rule out issues like poor circulation, nerve damage, skin changes, and deformities. Patients should mention any problems they have noticed in their feet. An exam may reveal decreased or absent reflexes or decreased ability to sense pressure, vibration, pin pricks, and changes in temperature.

Dry and scaly feet or dead skin on the feet is a common problem in elderly diabetic individuals. Usually home treatment can help in some cases to fix this problem in normal individuals.

Some very safe tips in your specific situation include: -

Step 1: Soak your feet in warm water for 20 minutes, before bedtime, to soften the dead skin.

Step 2: Scrub the dead skin areas of your feet with a pumice stone, using gentle, back-and-forth motions to remove the dead skin. If you have a lot of dead skin on your feet, you will not be able to remove it all in one sitting. Remove as much dead skin as you can without causing yourself pain and repeat the process again the next day.

Step 3: Rinse the dead skin off your feet under cool running water. Rinse the dead skin off the pumice stone as well under cool running water and then air dry it so that it remains clean and hygienic.

Step 5: XXXXXXX your feet dry with a towel.

Step 6 : Massage generous amounts of AmLactin 12 percent moisturizing lotion and cream or Bon Vital Foot Balm onto your feet. Rub your fingertips in a circular motion along your feet, to rub in the cream and to promote blood circulation in your feet.

Step 7: Put on a pair of cotton or wool socks, to hold the moisture in your skin. In the morning, your skin will be smoother and more moisturized.

In severe cases, a procedure called debridement becomes important to remove all the dead cells of the foot, and keep it healthy. This is better done under medical supervision, since diabetics are susceptible to XXXXXXX foot infections.

With regard to your age and your diabetic status, I would like to have a visual look at your leg lesions so that it would help me assess your condition better and advice accordingly.

To help you more, it will be very helpful if you can send me a picture of your legs.

You have a feature to upload the reports / images by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that would give a better idea for me.

Please make sure that you focus the whole leg in one picture showing the relative location of the swelling.

In case of any difficulty uploading the images, you can email it as well, with special Instructions : ATTN: Dr Anvekar. Please do confirm by writing here regarding the uploading or the mailing of the photos as to answer you at the earliest.

I would like to provide you with specific suggestions after going through the photos.

Awaiting your response.‎

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to remove the dead skin on lower legs of a diabetic patient ? 1 hour later
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 51 minutes later
Hello Again,

Please mail the photos to YYYY@YYYY with sub : attn to Dr Deepak.

Waiting for your response.


Dr Anvekar.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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