Essential Foot Care Information from the National Diabetes Education
Diabetes is the
leading cause of lower limb amputation. The good news is that simple
foot care practices can greatly reduce your risk of developing foot
disease. Here's what you need to know about proper diabetic foot care,
from the National Diabetes Education Program.
Take care of your
- Work with your
health care team to keep your blood sugar within a good range.
2. Check your feet
- Look at your bare
feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling.
- Use a mirror to
check the bottoms of your feet or ask a family member for help if
you have trouble seeing.
3. Wash your feet
- Wash your feet in
warm, not hot, water every day.
- Dry your feet
well. Be sure to dry between the toes.
4. Keep the skin
soft and smooth.
- Rub a thin coat
of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not
between your toes.
5. Smooth corns and
- If your feet are
at low risk for problems, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and
calluses. Donít use over-the-counter products or sharp objects
on corns or calluses.
6 . If you can see
and reach your toenails, trim them each week or when needed.
- Trim your
toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or
7. Wear shoes and
socks at all times.
- Never walk
- Wear comfortable
shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
- Feel inside your
shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is
smooth and there are no objects inside.
8. Protect you feet
from hot and cold.
- Wear shoes at the
beach or on hot pavement .
- Wear socks at
night if your feet get cold.
- Donít test bath
water with your feet.
- Donít use hot
water bottles or heating pads.
9. Keep the blood
flowing to your feet.
- Put your feet up
- Wiggle your toes
and move your ankles up and d own for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a
- Donít cross
your legs for long periods of time.
- Donít smoke.
10. Be more active.
- Plan your
physical activity program with your doctor.
11. Check with your
- Have your doctor
check your bare feet and find out whether you are likely to have
serious foot problems. Remember that you may not feel the pain of
- Call your doctor
right away if you find a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your
foot that does not begin to heal after one day.
- Follow your
doctorís advice about foot care.
12. Get started now.
- Begin taking good
care of your feet today.
- Set a time every
day to check your feet.