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Diabetic Footcare Guidelines

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet - even a small cut could have serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the "gift of pain"/ feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. One might not notice a pebble in their shoe that irritates their skin, this could lead to developing a blister, then a open sore, then a stubborn infection that might cause amputation of your foot or leg. 
To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, be sure to follow these simple guidelines. 

Inspect your feet and inside your shoes daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your doctor if you notice anything. (If your eyesight is poor, have someone else do it for you.)

Wash your feet in lukewarm (not hot!) water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Use only lukewarm water, the temperature one would use on a newborn baby by checking the temperature with your elbow. 

Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting and make sure to carefully dry between the toes.

Moisturize your feet but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. Moisturizing between the toes can lead to skin breakdown and encourage a fungal infection. 

Trim your nails carefully and straight across. Also, file the edges. Don't cut them too short, since this could lead to ingrown toenails. Check with your doctor to see if you qualify for nail care.

Do not trim corns or calluses. This is dangerous if you accidently cut yourself. Let your doctor treat them for you.

Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily to avoid moisture. 

Avoid the wrong type of socks. Avoid tight elastic bands (they reduce circulation). Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin). 

Wear socks to bed. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks. Do not use a heating pad or hot water bottle. 

Shake out your shoes and inspect the inside before wearing. Remember, you may not feel a pebble so always shake out your shoes before putting them on. 

Keep your feet warm and dry. Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter. 

Do not walk barefoot. Not even at home! One can step on something and get a scratch or cut. 

Take care of your diabetes. With the assitance of your primary doctor / endocrinologist and diet keep your blood sugar levels under control. A hemoglobin A1C of 7 or less is ideal.

Do not smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet. 

Get periodic foot exams. See your foot and ankle surgeon on a regular basis for an examination to help prevent foot complications from diabetes.