Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Diabetes Foot Care Checklist


Follow this guide to run diabetes-related foot problems out of town

Over time, diabetes can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Numbness and less blood flow in the feet can lead to foot problems.

Foot care is very important for all people with diabetes, but even more so if you have:

  • pain or loss of feeling in your feet (numbness, tingling)
  • changes in the shape of your feet or toes
  • sores, cuts, or ulcers on your feet that do not heal

If you take care of your feet every day, you can lower your chances of losing a toe, foot, or leg. Managing your blood sugar can also help keep your feet healthy.

Work with your health care team to make a diabetes plan that fits your lifestyle and includes foot care. The team may include your doctor, a diabetes educator, a nurse, a foot doctor (podiatrist) and other specialists who can help you manage your diabetes.

Check your feet every day.

  • Check your feet for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, and infected toenails. You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet.
  • Check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes.
  • If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, use a mirror to help. You can also ask a family member or caregiver to help you.

Things to remember:

  • Set a time every day to check your feet.
  • Wear socks and shoes at all times.
  • Write down the date of your next visit to the doctor. Go to all of your appointments and ask any questions that you have.
  • Set a date for getting the things you need to take care of your feet: nail clippers, pumice stone, emery board, skin lotion, talcum powder, plastic mirror, socks, walking shoes, and slippers.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Manage your diabetes so you can prevent foot problems.

Be sure to ask your health care team to:

  • check your feet at every visit
  • check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet at least once a year
  • show you how to care for your feet
  • refer you to a foot doctor if needed
  • tell you if special shoes would help protect your feet

Published on March 11, 2015. 

Source: National Diabetes Education Program. August 1, 2012.

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