Blog Post

December 6, 2022

How to Make Sure Your Feet Are Healthy When You Have Diabetes

Taking good care of your feet is something you should never fail to do, especially if you have diabetes. People with this illness often have problems with their feet. This disease can cause diabetic neuropathy, and the feet become numb when this happens. Having no feeling in your feet can lead to trouble. If you can't feel the pain caused by a wound on your foot, you may not notice that the wound has become infected. Amputation can be necessary when an infection leads to gangrene. To make sure your feet stay healthy, do the following:

Examine Your Feet Daily

Look for lesions or red areas on your feet. Check for blisters and ingrown toenails. Also, check for corns, calluses, warts, athlete's foot, and particularly warm areas. Put a bandage over any blisters, cuts, or sores, and ask your doctor to give you advice on how to treat corns and calluses if you have them. Have your health care practitioner trim your toenails if it's a task that's too difficult for you to do. Make a straight cut across if you can cut your own nails, and file them gently with an emery board. Avoid cutting into the corners of each toenail.

Bathe Your Feet Daily

Gently bathe your feet in warm water, but do not let them soak. Completely dry them with a soft towel and moisturize them with lotion, but don't moisturize between the toes. Always wear lightly padded socks without seams and wear shoes with good support that let your feet breathe. Be certain your shoes are comfortable. Get special shoes or orthotics if the shape of your feet changes. Until new shoes are broken in, only wear them for a short period of time at once to prevent them from giving you blisters and making your feet sore.

Avoid Letting Your Feet Get Cold or Too Hot

Keep your feet warm when the temperature drops by wearing socks. Keep them dry by wearing waterproof boots. When the temperature rises, keep your shoes on at the beach and when you are standing on the hot pavement. Apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet, avoid putting your feet next to heaters and fires in winter, and keep your feet away from heating pads and hot water bottles.

Improve Blood Circulation in Your Feet

Elevate your feet whenever you're sitting. Stretch your toes and ankles every so often to encourage blood flow. Wear loose-fitting socks, and don't use rubber bands to hold them in place. Ditch the cigarettes and walk, dance, stretch, swim, do yoga or ride a bike.

Have Your Feet Examined at Every Doctor's Appointment

Ask professionals at your doctor's office to check your feet whenever you have an appointment. Have the pulses and sensation in your feet examined. Get an extensive examination if the shape of your feet changes, if you have ever had a foot ulcer or an amputation, if you lose feeling in your feet or if you have peripheral artery disease. See your doctor if you have a wound or a blister that is taking too long to start healing, if you see signs of an infection, if you see blood inside a callus, or if an infected area in your feet turns black and has a foul smell.

The importance of taking good care of your feet cannot be underestimated. You depend on them to take you where you want to go. Give them the extra attention they need if you have diabetes.  


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Foot Health

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Diabetes & Foot Problems

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