How to Avoid Diabetic Foot
Problems: Tips for Patients
  • Wash feet daily with soap and dry them carefully, especially
    between the toes. Make sure water temperature is not too
    hot by first testing the water with your elbow. Heat can
    cause a serious burn, especially if sensation is diminished
    or absent.
  • Inspect feet daily for signs of broken skin, such as cuts,
    blisters, or scratches. Use a mirror if you are unable to
    access your feet.
  • Be sure your feet are properly measured for fit before
    every new shoe purchase. It may be erroneous to assume
    that shoes fit well, especially if you have diminished
    sensation in the feet. Shoes should have a high, wide
    toebox and preferably be made of leather. If a traced
    outline of your foot needs to be folded or crushed
    to fit into your shoe, the shoe is too small.
  • Wear white cotton socks. They facilitate early detection of
    bleeding or drainage and absorb perspiration better than
  • Always wear shoes with socks, even around the house.
    Keep the floors clean and check shoes for foreign objects
    before putting them on. Never go outdoors barefoot. Hot
    pavement can cause full-thickness burns on the bottoms of
    the feet, and sharp objects or rough surfaces can cause
    cuts, blisters, and other injuries.
  • Do not use over-the-counter corn and callus removers;
    they often contain chemicals that burn the skin. Have a foot
    specialist care for your toenails, corns, and calluses, unless
    directed otherwise by your physician.
  • Keep blood glucose controlled according to current
  • Do not smoke.
How many toes do you
count?  This is not the first
problem this person has
had with his feet.
Text and photo from the CONSULTANT, March 2005, p. 302, 306
Queen of Hearts Note on picture:  Yes, it's gross but I wanted to let people know what really happens if you
don't take care of your feet or control your diabetes.  In June of 2005 I got diagnosed with diabetes and I've read
the literature.  None of the literature really tells patients what can happen (like the picture above).  There's a lot
of other complications of uncontrolled diabetes which defy photography, for example  blindness and cardiac
complications.   I put an "electronic bandage" over the ulcer so those who are real sensitive don't pass out or
don't read the article.  
Please take care of your diabetes and your feet.  No matter how bad your feet may hurt,
I'm sure you don't want them to get worse.


Information that is provided in this site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.