Foot care is an especially important part of care for people with diabetes. Some of the effects of the disease increase the risk of foot problems and also increase the likelihood of complications.

But proper diabetic foot care and attention can prevent most serious foot complications. On this site we present the latest advice from the experts in diabetes and diabetic foot problems.  Never procrastinate!  Contact a knowledgeable physician at the first sign of a problem. 

Check List for Proper Foot Care

Daily exam:
  • Look for cuts or sores
  • Check for warning signs: redness, swelling, warmth, pain, slow healing, dry cracks, bleeding corns or calluses, tenderness, loss of sensation
Daily care:
  • Wash your feet daily and dry them carefully, especially between the toes
  • Use talcum powder
  • Do not cut corns or calluses- use a foot care specialist if needed
  • Keep toenails trimmed and smooth
  • Promptly treat corns, calluses or athletic feet. 
  • Keep blood glucose under control. 
Periodic foot exam by your healthcare provider:
  • Once a year for everyone, every 3 - 6 months for people at high risk
  • Take off shoes and socks at every doctor visit
  • Check for sensation and foot pulses
  • Ask for a risk evaluation
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times
  • Don't wear shoes or socks that are too tight
  • Wear well-cushioned shoes
  • Buy shoes that are roomy and "breathe"
  • People with diagnosed foot problems may need special footwear

Special care for high-risk conditions
If you do have any of the high-risk conditions, there are specific things you should do to keep your feet healthy.

  • If you have neuropathy or evidence of increased pressure on the soles of your feet, wear well-cushioned walking shoes or athletic shoes.
  • If you have lost some sensation in your feet, be sure to carefully inspect them often to identify any problems early.
  • If you have calluses, have a foot care specialist treat them.
  • If you have bony deformities such as hammertoes or bunions, you may need extra-wide shoes or depth shoes. In extreme cases, custom-molded footwear may be needed.
  • Promptly treat minor skin conditions such as dry skin or athlete's foot to keep them from progressing.
  • Have a complete foot examination every 3 to 6 months.

Other things to do: 

  • Annual foot screening to identify people who have lost protective sensation
  • Patient education in self-management, with emphasis on proper foot care
  • Daily self-inspection of the foot
  • Appropriate footwear selection
  • Management of simple foot problems such as dry skin, nail and callus care, and basic wound management

In a number of large clinical centers where formal preventive care programs such as this have been implemented, the rate of amputations has been reduced by as much as 85%.