Gross picture -- don't look!

OK, so you looked...

My heels have been bugging me -- not just athletes foot but inflamed, somewhat painful. I'm walking a distance from my car to my desk at the factory, then I'm walking a lot around the factory (e.g. on breaks, to the cafeteria) -- I'm getting in at least an hour of walking per day (4,500 to 5,000 steps on my pedometer.) Plus I'm putting pressure on my heels during my long commute. I guess my feet are getting a bit damp inside my work shoes and we all knows what happens when diabetics sit around with damp feet.


It’s unusual for athlete’s foot to be so uncomfortable for me. Itchy, yes. Painful, no. It feels like a sunburn, like I don’t want to put my heel down when I’m sitting at my desk. I need to come up with a strategy for getting out of my damp socks a.s.a.p. while I’m at work, which will be tricky. Due to my joint problems, I can’t really get up and down off the floor very easily (if at all) and I need to get my leg up next to me on a wide bench in order to maneuver my socks and lace-up shoes on and off – but there are no wide benches that I know of at the factory. I guess I can pull two chairs together in one of the conference rooms and improvise a bench that way.

What an inconvenience it is to be diabetic AND arthritic. It’s a real pain in the … well, you know.

Other than putting anti-fungal cream on them morning and evening and changing my socks a couple of times per day, any other ideas? Should I panic yet?

Hi Jean. Gah indeed. Perhaps wicking socks, either the main socks or lining socks, a material such as coolmax. You could wear inserts in your shoes, such as Dr. Scholls gel type heel inserts, or the whole thing gel by Spenco. Does anti-fungal sting cream sting? If the cause is just dampness/friction, a soothing cream such as Eucerin might help. I’d suggest trying some of these easy methods before panicking–or see a podiatrist? Good luck.

The brown section is just a shadow (I hope)? I would say go to the Podiatrist or Diabetologist ASAP.

I would panic! Diabetes and sore feet are not good bed partners! If you do not get this sorted it will turn to ulcers and ulcers can mean … you do not want to go there! Feet need to be cared for meticulously with diabetes!

I understand you can get devices which will help you to remove and put socks and tights on if you cannot bend down. They should be available in the shops where you can buy disability aids!

I know it sounds odd, but when I need to put cream on my feet I use a paint roller! or a large spoon (plastic is warmer and easier to clean between uses), depending on where it is. Just pray that you do not need to get your purse searched! I have several fractures of the spine and cannot get down to mine either, but find these ideas help.

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas. They are less painful even now, 12 hours later. I think the pain is from walking and pressing down on the “new” skin that has been exposed after the athlete’s foot (and the athlete’s foot cream) have done their worst to the surface skin. I think I just need to keep them clean and dry – and apply the ointment twice per day – until the “new” skin is no longer so tender. I’ll look into wicking socks and the sock-pulling aid.

I am already wearing podiatrist-made orthotics in my shoes, so the idea of putting a gel insert in there won’t work. I need the doctor orthotics or else I have terrible pain in my right foot from plantar fasciitis.

I did have the idea of getting some shoes that open with velcro – I’ve seen some walking shoes like that – so I can more easily pop them off when my feet are under my desk at work. That way they could “breathe” without me having to go through an elaborate shoe-lace-tying event every time I slip them off. As a programmer, I spend way too much time sitting at a computer, but the advantage to that is that I have many opportunities every day to slip off my shoes without worrying about stepping on a nail or anything – once I visually scan the carpet under my desk for any stray items I should be safe.

I even had the idea of putting a chamois under my feet at home (e.g. if I sit to watch a movie) or elevating them onto a footrest to take all the pressure off my heels at night before I go to bed.

Of course if my feet get worse in any way I will go immediately to have them seen by a doctor. There is no cracking or breaking in the epidermis, just peeling off of the very surface skin, something I’ve shown to my doctors before several times in the past with athlete’s foot. They don’t get too excited about it, but just tell me to keep them clean, dry, change my socks two or three times per day (as needed to keep my feet out of even slightly damp socks), apply the ointment as needed – and let them know if any cracks, bleeding, signs of infection or signs of ulceration show up.

I’m a believer: we diabetics need to look at our feet every day with a mirror and good light. Things can turn ugly in a very short space of time, right? Caring for them can be tricky with stiff and sore joints, but it’s worth the trouble.

My foot’s grosser than your foot:

But seriously, I’m avidly reading the advice you are getting because my foot is gross!!

@Frances, your foot is scaring me because of the scabby parts – that’s a skin break and we’re not allowed to have skin breaks in our feet. It’s verboten. Any one of those cracks could open up your foot to a major infection. You know the drill.

Please get to a podiatrist and follow his/her advice to the letter. Your feet are worth it, doll.

In the meantime: clean, dry socks, closed shoes, NEVER barefoot (not even around the house), stay away from public pools and gym locker rooms until your skin breaks are HEALED and dry them really well between the toes and everywhere the minute you get out of the shower or tub at home. My doctor suggests a cool blow-dryer on the feet on humid days when it’s harder to get them dry.

UPDATE: The pain is 90% gone and the skin is healing – YAY anti-fungal cream, dry socks and a three-day weekend spent lolling about and off my feet. Whew.

Good advice! I had been using the gym showers, I think that’s how I got this incredibly resistant strain of athlete’s foot. Hadn’t thought about the blowdryer, I like that idea. :slight_smile:

Frances – I got some “pool shoes” that are slip-on neoprene with velcro closure. When I go to a public pool, these shoes remain on my feet (my feet NEVER touch the ground) from the time that I am undressing, all the way out to the pool and down the stairs into the water. I wear them in the shower and like I said, my feet never touch any surface in the locker room, showers or walkways. Not even for a nano-second.

I wouldn’t try this strategy until your feet are 100% healed, but it’s something to consider for the future.

For now, be sure to clean your shower and bathroom floor with bleach-water and put down an absorbent towel or throw rug to stand on while you’re drying off – something you can hang up to dry completely after you’re dressed. You want to avoid re-infecting yourself at home, now that this beast has made its way onto your footsies.

When I was younger and had a bad infection (pre-diagnosis) I even took to wearing ONLY white socks and washing them in bleach and HOT water – and drying them on high – until the infection was well and truly passed. I never put my feet down without a clean, dry sock covering my feet – and closed shoes even if I was just going out to the driveway or the mailbox.

Right now, bacteria and fungi are your mortal enemies.