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Prevent Foot Problems if You Have Diabetes

Prevent Foot Problems if You Have Diabetes

Inspect your feet every morning and evening. This is the most important part of your foot care. Use a mirror or have someone look at your feet for you if you can't see every part of them well. You can also use a hand mirror or magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. Use the checklist for daily foot exams to make sure you carefully examine your feet each day.

Wash your feet daily. Post the steps for proper foot-washing in your bathroom. Refer to the steps when you wash your feet so that proper foot-washing becomes a habit every day.

Wear shoes 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 hours each week. Wear socks without seams.

Protect your feet from injury. Before you put on your shoes, check for any foreign objects, such as stones, or rough spots inside your shoes or objects pushing through the soles. Inspect your feet for blisters, cuts, or scrapes after a few hours of a new activity, such as hiking or skiing. Post the list of precautions to protect your feet in your closet near your shoes.

Have your feet checked during each office visit. Your doctor may notice a foot problem you may have missed. Take off your shoes and socks while you are waiting in the exam room. This will help remind your doctor to check your feet. Write down any minor problems or questions you may have about foot care to discuss at your office visit.

Get early treatment for foot problems. Call your doctor even for minor foot problems, unless you have already learned from how to handle these problems. Your doctor may refer you to a foot specialist (podiatrist) if special treatment is needed. A serious problem can develop from what seems like a minor irritation. You can help prevent a foot problem. If a foot problem develops, you need to seek care early.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of October 1, 2012
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