Check your feet every day for cuts, red spots, swelling, signs of infection, blisters, or ulcers. Ulcers can be especially difficult to treat and are a serious complication of diabetes. Seek medical advice early if there is any kind of foot injury, including sores, ingrown toenails, corns or calluses, warts, warm spots, and athlete’s foot. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, try using a mirror. You can also ask someone for help. Remember not to scratch any lesions you might find.
Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water (use your elbow to test the water temperature). Apply talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin dry, especially between the toes.
Apply moisturizer after bathing. Don’t put lotion or cream between your toes, which can lead to infection.
Trim toenails with nail clippers straight across and file the corners. See a podiatrist if you have any trouble with nail care.
Don’t walk barefoot, even indoors. Wear properly fitting shoes or slippers—never sandals or flip-flops—with loose-fitting socks. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
Don’t treat corns or calluses yourself. Consult with your doctor, and never use medicated pads or liquid removers.
Smoking reduces blood circulation to your feet. People who smoke or who have a history of lower-extremity complications, loss of protective sensation, structural abnormalities, or peripheral arterial disease should be referred to foot care specialists for preventive care and surveillance.