When you have
diabetes, your feet need extra care and attention.
Diabetes can damage the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet, making you
less likely to notice when your feet are injured. Diabetes can also interfere with
your body's ability to fight infection. If you develop a minor foot injury, it
could become an
ulcer or develop into a serious infection.
Ulcers can be found on the bottom of your feet, or on the top or bottom of your
toes. With good foot care, you can prevent most of these problems.
Caring for your feet is easy. Most of the care can be done when you are
bathing and getting ready for bed. Preventing injury to your feet is merely a
matter of wearing properly fitted shoes and socks at all times.
These steps can help keep your feet healthy:
Examine your feet every day. And have your
doctor examine your feet during every visit.
Check your shoes for
any loose objects or rough edges before you put them on.
foot care as part of your daily routine. Soon it will become as automatic as
brushing your teeth.
Don't use home remedies to treat foot
problems. Home remedies can hurt your feet. Over-the-counter medicine designed
to remove calluses could contain chemicals that could burn your skin. Also,
trying to cut corns or calluses yourself could lead to infections.
Get early treatment for any foot problem, even a minor one.
How do you care for your feet?
Here's how you can get
started caring properly for your feet.
Inspect your feet at least once a day. Look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. This
is the most important part of your foot care. You can use a handheld mirror or
magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect
your feet. If you can't see well, have someone assist you.
feet daily. Post the
steps for foot-washing and nail care in your bathroom. Refer
to the steps when you wash your feet so that they become a habit. Make sure you
dry your feet and toes well before putting on shoes and socks.
and socks that fit well. Soft shoes that have good support and that fit well
(such as tennis shoes) are best for your feet. Use the
checklist for shoes that fit well when you buy new
shoes. Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for a few hours each day and
increasing the number of hours you wear them each week. Wear socks that do not
Protect your feet from injury. Before you put on your
shoes, check for objects (such as pebbles) or rough spots inside your shoes or
objects pushing through the soles. Inspect your feet for blisters, cuts, or
scrapes after activities such as hiking or skiing. If you can't see well, have
someone do this for you. Post a
list of precautions to protect your feet when you have diabetes in your
closet near your shoes.
Ask your doctor to check your feet during
each visit. Your doctor may notice a foot problem you have missed. Take off
your shoes and socks while you are waiting for your doctor. This will help
remind your doctor to check your feet. Write down any minor problems or questions you may have
about foot care, and take this with you when you visit your
Get early treatment for foot problems. Call your doctor
even for minor foot problems, unless you have already learned from your doctor
how to handle these problems. Your doctor may refer you to a
orthopedic surgeon if special treatment is needed. A
serious problem can develop from what seems like a minor irritation. If a foot
problem develops, you need to seek care early.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.