Foot Care Tips

Proper hygiene of the feet of a diabetic patient is essential. The following tips are provided and should be followed to decrease risk of complications from diabetes.

  1. Keep feet clean, warm, and dry. If excess perspiration is a problem, change socks two or more times per day. Cotton socks are preferable because of their breathability and absorbancy.
  2. Inspect feet daily. If you can not see the bottom of your feet, obtain a hand mirror and view the bottom of your feet by looking at their reflection in the mirror.
  3. Dry feet carefully after washing. Do not forget to dry between toes, using the edge of a towel between them, without pulling toes apart, which could crack skin which might already be thin and friable.
  4. Cut toenails after bathing when they are soft. Cut straight across the top without getting too close to skin. Always soak your nail nipper in rubbing alcohol first to clean it prior to cutting.
  5. NOTE: The following situations require consultation with a podiatrist for nail care: 
                a.    If you have poor vision
                b.   If you have lack of sensation in your feet
                c.    If you have cold feet or poor vascularity (circulation)
                d.   If you have trouble bending or holding the nipper because of arthritis
                e.    If your nails are thickened and grow abnormally
                f.    If you notice drainage and redness around the nail.
  6. Never warm your feet with a heater.
  7. Switch off an electric blanket before falling asleep. Never bind covers down over feet.
  8. Powder feet between toes.
  9. Use moisturizer on feet after bathing, but never between toes.
  10. Treat cuts with mild antiseptic and consult your doctor or podiatrist if they become red, drain, or take more than a couple of days to heal.
  11. Consult your primary physician or podiatrist if you develop:
                a.     athlete's foot (cracking or whitish flaking of skin between toes)
                b.   any sores or wounds on toes or feet
                c.     ingrown toenails
                d.   numbness or pain in the feet or legs.

Remember: If in doubt, contact your physician. Do not take chances with your feet as a diabetic!