Your Complete Footcare Guide For People With Diabetes

Keep your feet healthy and protected with these tips.

By
Nuna Alberts

Important: If you see redness expanding around the wound, swelling, pus or darkening tissue, see a doctor or podiatrist immediately. “People with diabetes can get a fairly significant infection quickly,” explains Dr. Trepal. “Diminished circulation makes it hard for white blood cells to get to the area to fight off the infection.”

Treat your feet!

This daily routine makes it easy to refresh, revitalize and keep your feet in the best condition.

Soak.
Start with a five-minute soak in soothing lukewarm water with a squirt of a mild liquid soap. Dry your feet thoroughly with a soft washcloth. Look carefully for the first signs of infection—redness, swelling, cuts and blisters—and report anything out of the ordinary to your podiatrist or doctor.

Check your nails.
Keep them short. (Long nails rubbing against shoes can separate from the nail bed and become infected.) If they need cutting, do it straight across—rounding the corners could cause ingrown toenails—and run a finger along the edge of your nails to be sure there are no jagged edges or hangnails. Avoid cutting the cuticles; they’re a seal that protects against
infection.

Moisturize.
Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a skin moisturizing cream everywhere except between your toes. Trapping moisture there could cause athlete’s foot.

Protect.
Wear slippers or shoes. Going barefoot inside or outside increases your risk of splinters, small cuts and other injuries.

Published
April 2013