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Diabetic Foot Care

It is essential to properly care for diabetic feet. Too much glucose in the blood over time can cause even common foot problems to worsen, leading to infection or even amputation. Part of good foot care involves looking at your feet daily to check for cuts, sores, blisters or other problems. Using special shoes can also help protect your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care: An Overview

Anyone can have corns, blisters, and athlete's foot, including a diabetic; however, an excess of glucose (sugar) in the blood for a long time can cause these diabetic foot problems to worsen. Diabetic foot problems can lead to infections or, in more severe cases, amputation. Therefore, properly caring for diabetic feet is essential.
(See Diabetic Feet for more information about common foot problems in people with diabetes and their causes.)

Suggestions for Caring for Diabetic Feet

In order to prevent any of the common diabetic foot problems from occurring, good foot care is essential. The following are some suggestions for your diabetic foot care:
  • Wash your feet in warm water every day. Test the temperature with your elbow to make sure the water is not too hot. Do not soak your feet. Dry your feet well, especially between your toes.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or other problems. Doing this every day is even more important if you have nerve damage or poor blood flow. If you cannot bend over or pull your feet up to check them, use a mirror. If you cannot see well, ask someone else to check your feet.
  • File corns and calluses gently with an emery board or pumice stone. Do this after your bath or shower.
  • Cut your toenails once a week or when needed. Cut toenails when they are soft from washing.
  • Cut toenails to the shape of the toe and not too short; file the edges with an emery board.
  • If your skin is dry, rub lotion on your feet after you wash and dry them. Do not put lotion between your toes.
  • Always wear shoes or slippers to protect your feet from injuries.
  • Wear socks or stockings to avoid blisters. Do not wear socks or knee-high stockings that are too tight below your knee.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly. Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are bigger. Break in your shoes slowly -- wear them one to two hours each day for the first one to two weeks.
  • Before putting your shoes on, feel the insides to make sure they have no sharp edges or objects that might injure your feet.
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