Foot Care

Take care of your diabetes.

  • Keeping blood sugar in recommended targets decreases risk of nerve damage—peripheral neuropathy—to the feet.

Wash and check your feet daily.

  • Inspect your feet for cuts, calluses, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Notify your doctor if these problems persist.
  • If you have difficulty seeing the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member to help you inspect your feet.
  • Wash your feet in warm water and dry well, especially between the toes.
  • Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.

Keep the skin on your feet soft and smooth. Calluses can lead to breaks in the skin, increasing the risk of foot ulcers.

  • Moisturize feet with lotion. Avoid getting lotion between the toes.
  • Soften calluses by soaking your feet in warm water, or by applying diabetic foot cream containing the ingredient “urea.” Gently smooth softened calluses with a pumice stone.
  • Significant callusing or other persistent foot problems may require evaluation by a foot specialist to determine and treat the cause.

Wear shoes and socks.

  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
  • Check for objects inside your shoes before putting them on.

Follow up with your doctor.

  • Have your feet checked at least annually, including a thorough visual exam, evaluation of sensation using a monofilament, and evaluation of pulses and circulation.
  • Notify your doctor if you notice a cut, sore, or blister that is not healing or if you have other concerns about your feet.