Diabetic foot: 10 foot care tips for diabetics

People with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems, and a diabetic foot can eventually lead to a foot amputation or even a full leg amputation. Fortunately, these problems can be prevented with proper foot care.

Please note: we are not doctors. Therefore, the content on our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your physician with questions about diabetes and never ignore professional medical advice.

Diabetes must be taken seriously. The best way to prevent amputation and other serious complications of diabetes is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Take your medication as prescribed by your physician and live a healthy life.

10 foot care tips for people with diabetes

People with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems, so taking good care of your feet and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels play a major role in preventing an amputation. Fortunately, you’re not alone and can rely on the advice and assistance of your physician, diabetes podiatrist or regular podiatrist, but you do have the biggest role to play! These tips will help you take care of your feet as best you can:

1. Check your feet every day

Perform a foot check every day, looking for red spots, wounds, bruises, sores and discolouration. If you see something suspicious, contact your physician immediately.

2. Use a mirror or ask for help

The sooner you detect any issues, the better. Try using a magnifying mirror to get an even closer view of your feet, allowing you to detect small spots ands wounds too. If you can’t examine your own feet because you can’t quite reach them, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help.

3. Test your nerves: sensation and temperature

Regularly check how much sensation you still have in your foot by touching it with a feather or some other soft object. If you notice reduced sensation or numbness, burning or tingling, consult your physician immediately. It’s also important to frequently check whether your feet can still distinguish between hot and cold temperatures by holding a hot or cold object against your feet. If you notice that you’re struggling to tell hot and cold apart, get in touch with your physician.

4. Wear good socks

Opt for thin, clean, dry socks without an elastic cuff. This will allow for optimum blood flow and reduce the chance of developing blisters, sweaty feet and other issues.

5. Wiggle!

During the day, wiggle your toes regularly and move your ankles to keep blood flowing to your feet.

6. Wash and dry your feet carefully

Wash your feet every day and dry them carefully. Spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your foot to prevent the skin on your foot from cracking and causing wounds.

7. Be careful with your toenails

Do not remove calluses, callous nodules, corns and warts yourself. Visit a diabetes podiatrist, a regular podiatrist or your GP and make sure your foot problems are treated appropriately.

8. Diabetes podiatrist

Cut your toenails straight and don't cut them too short. This is the best way to prevent ingrown toenails. If you struggle to cut your toenails properly, ask a diabetes podiatrist or a regular podiatrist.

9. Comfortable shoes over bare feet

Never walk barefoot, even when you’re indoors. Always protect your feet with hard-soled slippers or similar footwear, and wear shoes that protect your feet from cold and wet conditions. A good shoe for people with diabetes has a closed toe and heel, a rigid outsole, a leather upper with no seam on the inside and a soft inner.

10. Develop a routine

If you’re not checking your feet regularly yet, start doing so now! It’ll only take a few minutes out of your day. Making your check a fixed part of your morning or evening routine will usually work best.