Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines

Taking care of your feet is imperative when you have diabetes, as even the smallest cut can lead to big problems down the line, including amputation of your toe, foot, or even entire leg. As such, it's recommended you follow the guidelines below to help prevent something minor becoming something major.

  • Inspect your feet daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems.
  • Wash your feet in lukewarm (NOT HOT) water. Wash them daily in a water temperature akin to that which you might use for a newborn baby.
  • Be gentle with your feet when bathing them. Avoid rough towels, instead use a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry them by blotting or patting, and make sure to carefully dry between your toes as well.
  • Moisturize your feet to keep dry skin from cracking or itching. DO NOT moisturize between your toes, however, as this could invite a fungal infection.
  • Cut your nails carefully and straight across, as well as filing the edges. Don't cut them too short, as this could lead to ingrown toenails.
  • Never trim corns or calluses. Leave that to the professionals.
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them daily.
  • Avoid socks with tight elastic bands or thick, bulky socks. 
  • Wear socks to bed if your feet get cold at night. Never use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
  • Shake out your shoes and make sure there's no foreign objects in them before putting them on. If you have neuropathy, you may not be able to feel something in your shoe with your feet, and that could lead to problems.
  • Keep your feet warm and dry. Wear warm socks and shoes in the winter and try not to get your feet wet in the snow or rain.
  • Never walk barefoot, even at home.
  • Take care of your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control
  • Don't smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet. 
  • Get regular foot exams. Your podiatrist will set up a regular interval for you to be rechecked depending on your particular case.