Diabetic Footcare Advice

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Proper foot care can help prevent these common foot problems and/or treat them before they cause serious complications. Read our advice with 15 tips to keep your feet in the best shape possible. 

  1. Take care of yourself and your diabetes. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice regarding nutrition, exercise, and medication. Keep your blood glucose level within the range recommended by your doctor.
  2. Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap. Do not soak your feet. Dry your feet well, especially between the toes.
  3. Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any of the other problems listed above. If you have poor blood flow, it is especially important to do a daily foot check.
  4. If the skin on your feet is dry, keep it moist by applying lotion after you wash and dry your feet. Do not put lotion between your toes. Your doctor can tell you which type of lotion is best to use.
  5. Gently smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone. Do this after your bath or shower, when your skin is soft. Move the emery board in only one direction.
  6. Check your toenails once a week. Trim your toenails with a nail clipper straight across. Do not round off the corners of toenails or cut down on the sides of the nails. After clipping, smooth the toenails with an emery board.
  7. Always wear closed-toed shoes or slippers. Do not wear sandals and do not walk barefoot, even around the house.
  8. Always wear socks or stockings. Wear socks or stockings that fit your feet well and have soft elastic.
  9. Wear shoes that fit well. Buy shoes made of canvas or leather and break them in slowly. Extra wide shoes are also available in specialty stores that will allow for more room for the foot for people with foot deformities.
  10. Protect your feet from heat and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
  11. Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting, wiggle your toes and move your ankles several times a day, and don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
  12. If you smoke, stop. Smoking can make blood flow problems worse.
  13. If you have a foot problem that gets worse or won’t heal, contact your doctor for advice and treatment.
  14. Make sure your diabetes doctor examines your feet during each check-up. An annual foot exam should be performed which should include an inspection of the skin – he or she may check for redness or warm of the skin. The exam will also be to check for pulses and temperature of your feet and an assessment of sensation to the foot with something called a monofilament.
  15. See your podiatrist (foot doctor) every two to three months for check-ups, even if you don’t have any foot problems.