Let’s Chat… Do’s and Don’ts for good foot care, for people living with diabetes
Your feet may be the last thing on your mind, but daily care and looking after your feet is important too. Here are some do’s and don’ts for good foot care for people living with diabetes:
- Wash your feet daily using lukewarm water and mild soap.
- Test the temperature of the bath water with your hands before getting in. If you are unable to do so, let someone else test it.
- Inspect (or ask someone else to inspect) your feet daily for cuts, cracks, bruises, blisters, corns, calluses and damaged nails. Also check the areas between the toes for moistness, cracks and infection.
- Wear clean cotton or wool socks or stockings that are dry and changed daily.
- Wear socks with the seams on the outside.
- Cut your toenails straight across and not too short. If your toenails cannot be cut, file them in a downward direction.
- Use moisturizing cream (neutral water-based creams) for dry skin, but not between your toes. Use a powder for sweaty or moist skin.
- Inspect your shoes and feel inside them for hidden objects before putting them on.
- Dry your feet gently, especially between the toes as infections can develop in moist areas.
- Report every injury, blister, cut, scratch, or sore that develops to a healthcare professional.
- Have your feet professionally examined at least once a year by a healthcare professional.
- Cut corns or calluses yourself, or use corn plasters, chemicals or other remedies. These preparations are acidic and often cause ulcers. Consult a healthcare professional, because corns and calluses are an indication that there is a problem.
- Cut down or around the corners of your toenails, as this may cause ingrown toenails.
- Use sharp instruments to dig around your toenails.
- Walk barefoot when indoors or outdoors. Many foot injuries occur inside the home.
- Smoke as this limits your blood circulation.
- Use scissors or blades to cut your toenails.
- Attempt to cut abnormally thickened toenails. Use a file instead or consult a healthcare professional.
- Wear clothes or socks that restrict the blood flow to your feet. Never wear garters or socks with elastic tops.
- Use heating appliances (heaters, water bottles, electric blankets) near your legs or feet.
- Never soak your feet in standing water, always use running water.
Find more information here.
1. Pietrangelo A: Diabetes Foot Care. [Internet]. 2016 April 4 [cited 2019 Feb 13] Available from https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-foot-care#daily-care
2. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons®: Diabetes Foot Care Guidelines: Foot Health Facts [Internet]. [Cited 2019 Feb 13] Available from https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/diabetic-foot-care-guidelines
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