Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies. It protects our bodies. Diabetes can cause changes to our skin, and newly diagnosed diabetics often report that the skin on their feet and other parts of their bodies is much drier after becoming diabetic. Dry skin can be itchy or crack open, leading to the risk of infection or sores that do not heal or heal slowly. It is important to check you feet daily for any cuts, sores, or color changes. If you see anything abnormal, contact a podiatrist immediately. If the areas are red, hot, swollen, or have pus present, immediate medical attention is necessary. The area between the toes must stay dry, so after you take a shower or bath, dry carefully between the toes. Powder can be used in this area to keep the spaces dry. The tops and bottoms of the feet need to stay hydrated with vasoline or a thick cream twice per day. Again, it is essential that the vasoline or cream not be placed between the toes, as this can set up an infection or cause break down of the skin, leading to sores or ulcers. If the skin is itchy, red, or has small blisters, you may have developed athlete's foot or another skin disease or infection. Feet are prone to these conditions because they are enclosed in our shoes and socks all day, leading to a warm, moist environment that is perfect for fungus and athlete's foot. Additionally, warts, which are caused by a virus can be more common in diabetics. These may appear as circular callouses, raised areas, or dark little spots on the feet. You will need to see a podiatrist to determine if you have a wart and identify the best treatment. Novemeber is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is essential to check your feet everyday, keep your blood sugar controlled, and see your foot doctor regularly to keep your feet healthy! Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Physical Medicine. She practices out of the Oak Park and Chicago/63rd Street locations. Dr. Bender is also a clinical instructor for William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. You can make appointments with her at 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166.