Diabetes is a condition that can be dangerous for a patient’s feet. Something as minor as a small cut can have monstrous consequences. In addition, diabetes can cause nerve damage in the feet and can reduce blood flow, making it harder to heal from an injury or resist infection. To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, it is advisable to follow certain guidelines. Feet should be inspected daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, and nail problems. Always bathe feet in lukewarm water, never hot water. When bathing feet, gently use a soft washcloth or sponge, and gently blot or pat dry the feet, including between the toes. Moisturize feet, but not between the toes where it could lead to a fungal infection. Cut nails carefully in a straight line and file edges. Never treat corns or calluses at home; always seek medical attention. Wear clean, dry socks and consider wearing those made with extra cushioning and moisture-wicking fibers. Consider using an antiperspirant on the soles of the feet to avoid excess sweating. Do not smoke. Never walk barefoot. And, get periodic foot exams.

“Foot problems stemming from diabetes can often be avoided. Ask your doctor to examine your feet regularly for any evidence of nerve damage or poor circulation.”