Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet – even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet. Contact your doctor for even minor problems.
Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet.
Wash your feet, use water at normal temperature or lukewarm (not hot!) water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily.
Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting, and carefully dry between the toes.
Moisturize your feet – but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But DON’T moisturize between the toes – that could encourage a fungal infection.
Cut nails carefully. Cut them straight across. Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toe nails.
Never treat corns or calluses yourself. Visit your doctor for appropriate treatment.
Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.
Avoid the wrong type of socks. Avoid tight elastic bands (they reduce circulation). Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin).
NEVER use a heating pad or hot water bottle for your feet. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks.
Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing. Remember, your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other foreign object.
Never walk barefoot. Not even at home!
Don’t smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet.
Get periodic foot exams. Seeing your doctor on a regular basis can help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.
Use proper footwear. Ask your doctor about what type of footwear you require.
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