Introduction: Skin findings in diabetic patients are not rare. Diabetic Foot Syndrome (DFS) is associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this retrospective study is to evaluate the causal relationships of skin findings of DFS patients and to identify the complications that may develop early and to direct them for treatment.
Materials and Methods: A total of 241 patient files followed in the Diabetic Foot Council of Ege University Medical Faculty with the diagnosis of DFS were examined. Data on gender, age, diabetes type and duration, HbA1c levels, presence and type of infection, Wagner’s classification, and skin findings of the patients were recorded. These patients were assessed by dermatologists, who were members of the Council, and their findings were recorded.
Results: In terms of frequency, 193 (80.1%) patients had xerosis, 80 (33.2%) had plantar hyperkeratosis, 54 (22.4%) had fissure, 55 (22.8%) had maceration and desquamation between toes, 46 (19.1%) had callus formation, 8 (3.3%) had diabetic dermopathy, and 2 (0.8%) had diabetic bulla. In terms of foot deformities, 32 patients (13.3%) had deformation in toes, 89 (36.9%) had claw foot, 38 (15.8%) had hammer/claw toes, 32 (13.3%) had acromegalic finger, 23 (9.5%) had hallux valgus, and 22 (9.1%) had Charcot deformity. According to Wagner classification; 18 (%7.5) patients were Stage 1, 66 (%27.4) were Stage 2, 69 (%28.6) were Stage 3, 64 (%26.6) were Stage 4, and 24 (%10) were Stage 5. In terms of infection, 67 (%27.8) patients had mild infection, 114 (%47.3) had intermediate infection and 60 (%24.9) had severe infection. On time of admission, 114 (%47.3) patients had osteomyelitis but 127 (%52.7) did not.
Conclusion: The appearance of skin findings in a diabetic patient indicates the need for more strict patient care and the need for proper
foot care. Patients with DFS should be evaluated together with other skin findings on the foot which may prevent complications to occur
thanks to early diagnosis and treatment. This will help reduce morbidity and mortality which can cause high economic costs.