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Foot Care and Diabetes

diabetic footcareYou can do a lot to prevent problems with your feet. Keeping your blood glucose in your target range and taking care of your feet can help protect them.
  • Check your bare feet every day. Look for cuts, sores, bumps, or red spots. Use a mirror or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing the bottoms of your feet.
  • Wash your feet in warm—not hot—water every day, but don't soak them. Use mild soap. Dry your feet with a soft towel, and dry carefully between your toes.
  • After washing your feet, cover them with lotion before putting your shoes and socks on. Don't put lotion or cream between your toes.
  • File your toenails straight across with an emery board. Don't leave sharp edges that could cut the next toe.
  • Don't try to cut calluses or corns off with a razor blade or knife, and don't use wart removers on your feet. If you have warts or painful corns or calluses, see a podiatrist, a doctor who treats foot problems.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Don't wear mended stockings or stockings with holes or seams that might rub against your feet.
  • Check your shoes before you put them on to be sure they have no sharp edges or objects in them.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and let your toes move. Break new shoes in slowly. Don't wear flip-flops, shoes with pointed toes, or plastic shoes. Never go barefoot.
  • Wear socks if your feet get cold at night. Don't use heating pads or hot water bottles on your feet.
  • Have your doctor check your feet at every visit. Take your shoes and socks off when you go into the examining room. This will remind the doctor to check your feet.
  • See a podiatrist for help if you can't take care of your feet yourself.

Points to Remember

  • Over time, high blood sugar can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your legs and feet. When you have nerve damage, you can have a sore or blister and not feel it. If your blood vessels are also damaged, sores and cuts may take longer to heal. If untreated, a small injury could become a big problem.
  • Check your feet everyday for injuries, blister or redness. If you notice any problems, call your healthcare team. Don't wait to get help. Have a doctor or nurse check your feet at least once a year to make sure the nerves are still working. Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet.