Proper foot care
- If you have diabetes, work closely with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range.
- Don’t smoke. If you do, stop. Smoking when you have diabetes makes blood flow problems even worse.
- Inspect your feet every day. Look at your feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help. Seek care early if you have a foot injury.
- Visit your health care provider for a complete foot exam at least annually-more often if you have foot problems.
- Call or see your health care provider if you have cuts or breaks in the skin, or have an ingrown toenail. Also, tell your doctor if your foot changes color, shape, or just feels different (for example, becomes less sensitive or hurts). If you have corns or calluses, your health care provider can trim them for you.
- Be more physically active. Plan your physical activity program with your health care team.
- Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
- Keep your skin soft and smooth. Use P.O.L. Cream to moisturize the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
- If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim nails straight across, and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don’t put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in, just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets-you can burn your feet without realizing it.
- Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes, two or three times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
- Start taking good care of your feet now. Set a time every day to check your feet.
Seek professional medical advice right away for major cuts, ulcers, burns, infections, or chronic conditions. This information is for general knowledge and is not intended to replace medical care.
Source: National Institute of Health, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), American Diabetes Association