How to Care for Your Feet

Many people with diabetes have problems with circulation and nerve damage in their feet. This affects how well they can feel hot and cold, pain, and other sensations.

People who have problems with feeling and sensation don't get the usual warning signs if something's wrong. They might have a wound that won't heal, or nerve damage might be changing the shape of their feet, without them being aware of it. Without good foot care, sometimes problems can get so bad that a damaged foot needs to be amputated.

Good foot care, including daily foot care at home and foot exams at your clinic, can help keep foot problems from getting out of control.

Checklist for Daily Foot Care

Make these simple steps part of your daily routine. If you aren't able to care for your feet yourself, ask a caregiver or family member for help. Or contact the Resource Line for information about community resources in your area.

Check your feet every day:

Keep your feet clean and moisturized:

Keep your toenails trimmed:

Take care of bunions and calluses:

Socks and Shoes

These tips will help prevent injuries to your feet:

Healthy Habits

Help keep good circulation in your feet:

Seeing Your Doctor

Your doctor or another member of your health care team will look at your feet during your diabetes checkups. He or she will look for cracked and peeling skin, signs of swelling, blisters, calluses, ulcers, signs of infection, and bone and joint problems. He or she will also check the pulses in your feet and use a small tool to check your feet and lower legs for any loss of feeling or sensation.

Call your doctor between visits if you:

Clinical review by Wendy Robinson, RN
Group Health
Reviewed 03/01/2014