Steps to Protect Diabetic Feet

  • Check your feet everyday

    Check your feet for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, and infected toenails. You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet. Check your feet each EVENING when you take off your shoes. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, use our foot brush.

  • Wash your feet everyday

    Wash your feet in warm, not hot water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. Before bathing or showering, test the water to make sure its not too hot. You can use a thermometer (90-95 degrees F is safe) or your elbow to test the water. Use talcum poweder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry to prevent infection.

  • Keep the skin soft and smooth

    Rub a thin coat of lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do NOT put lotion or cream between your toes because this might cause an infection.

  • Visit your foot specialist to smooth corns and calluses

    Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. If you have corns or calluses, check with your foot doctor about the best way to care for them. Do NOT cut corns or calluses. Do NOT use razor blades, corn plasters, or liquid corn remover - they can damage your skin and cause an infection.

  • Visit your foot specialist to trim your toenails regularly.

    Have a foot doctor trim your toenails if you cannot see or feel your feet, you cannot reach your feet, your toenails are thick or yellowed, your nails curve and grow into the skin.

  • Wear shoes and socks at all times

    Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot when indoors or outside. It is easy to step on something and hurt your feet. You may not feel any pain and not know that you hurt yourself. Make sure you wear socks, stockings, or nylons with your shoes to keep from getting blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well. Socks that have no seams are best. Check inside your shoes before you put them on. Make sure the lining is smooth and that there are no objects in your shoes. Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet.

  • Protect your feet from hot and cold

    Wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement. You may burn your feet and may not know it. Put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. K eep your feet away from heaters and open fires. Do NOT put hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold. Wear lined boots in the winter to keep your feet warm.

  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet

    Put your feet up when you are sitting. Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to help blood flow in your feet and legs. Do not cross your legs for long periods of time. Do not wear tight socks, elastic, or rubber bands around your legs. Do not smoke. Smoking can lower the amount of blood flow to your feet. Ask for help to stop smoking. Call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).

  • Be more active

    Being active improves blood flow to the feet. Ask your health care team for safe ways to be more active each day. Move more by walking, dancing, swimming, or going bike riding. If you are not very active, start slowly. Find safe places to be active.Wear athletic shoes that give support and are made for your activity.

  • Be sure to ask your health care team to:

    Check your feet at every visit. Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet at least once a year. Show you how to care for your feet. Refer you to a foot doctor. Tell you if special shoes would help protect your feet.

  • Take care of your diabetes

    Work with your health care team to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Ask your health care team to help you set and reach goals for managing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Ask your team to help you choose safe ways to be more active each day and choose healthy foods to eat.