Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

Check feet daily, say orthopaedic foot and ankle MDs

If you’re among the 18 million Americans who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may know that foot care is extremely important. Nervous system impairment or neuropathy is a major complication of diabetes that can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. This means you may not know right away if you have hurt yourself, which could lead to infection.

Since minor injuries can quickly become major problems for diabetics, orthopaedic foot and ankle MDs have put together tips for diabetic foot care. These tips include some commonsense approaches, such as inspecting your feet daily for blisters, scratches, cuts, and nail problems. Other basics include:

  • Trimming toenails straight across. Cutting nails at the corners can lead to ingrown toe nails and infection.
  • Wearing loose socks to bed to keep your feet warm and help avoid foot injury when you get up at night.
  • Not smoking. Smoking decreases the blood supply to the feet, which can delay wound healing.

For more tips on diabetic foot care and advice on shoes for diabetics, visit the Diabetic Foot Overview at FootCareMD, the patient education website of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). If you injure your foot, call an MD immediately. Seemingly minor injuries can be very serious for diabetics.