Taking care of your feet...

People with diabetes often develop problems with their feet because of poor circulation and loss of sensation. Regular exercise, walking, and avoiding smoking can help maintain good circulation.

How to take care of your feet...

  • Inspect your feet daily. Watch for cuts, scratches, blisters, callouses, corns, warts, ingrown toenails, signs of infection, and loss of sensation. Treat any problems found immediately
  • Wash your feet daily with mild soup and warm water
  • Dry between your toes very well
  • Use a moisturizer, with at least 25% UREA, for your feet and finger tips. DO NOT lotion between your toes
  • Cut your toe nails straight across, just above the skin margin, and file off sharp edges
  • Wear shoes that fit well and allow your feet to breathe; if they feel tight when they are new, they probably always will! Avoid imitation leather
  • Do not walk barefoot; shoes are your first line-of-defense against future problems
  • Remove your shoes as much as you can during the day
  • DO NOT treat ingrown toe nails yourself; seek professional help
  • DO NOT treat corns or calluses yourself or use medicated wart, corn, or callous pads; seek professional help
  • Wear cotton or wool socks
  • Control your blood glucose tightly.
  • DO NOT smoke!
  • Read the Canadian Medical Student's Guide to Preventative Foot Care

Professional help...

  • Have your diabetes nurse or doctor check your feet at least every 3 months
  • Seek the help of a podiatrist at the first sign of a foot problem
  • Seek the help of a podiatrist if you need fitting with special shoes or inserts

Updated: March 12, 2003