Skip to main content

Managing Foot Issues

I Am Managing Foot Issues

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Limb Loss

The potential of limb loss with diabetic foot health is a real and challenging issue to face by yourself. Thankfully, the ADA has expert strategies and advice to help you manage complications to reduce the risk of amputation and community-building strategies to help you cope if you are dealing with limb loss. Learn how we can help you no matter where you are in your diabetes journey.

Foot Complications

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your foot less able to fight infection and heal. Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden.


Quick Tip

Compression socks gently apply pressure to feet and legs. Wearing them can be helpful to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.

Skin Changes

Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack. This problem is caused by nerve damage that affects your body's ability to control the oil and moisture in your foot.

feet touching

Quick Tip

Use a daily moisturizer to keep the feet healthy and looking great. Look for speciality products specifically formulated for people with diabetes.


Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes. Too many calluses may mean that you will need therapeutic shoes and inserts. Calluses, if not trimmed, get very thick, break down, and turn into ulcers (open sores).

barefeet skin

Quick Tip

Avoid over-the-counter treatments to remove calluses since they use acids that can be harmful to a diabetic foot.

Foot Ulcers

Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes. Even though some ulcers may not hurt, every ulcer should be seen by your doctor right away. Neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which can lead to limb loss.

Guy running on beach

Quick Tip

Consider the use of braces or crutches if you have a foot ulcer to promote healing while reducing pressure and irritation.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage from diabetes is called neuropathy and can lessen your ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. This means that you may not notice a foot injury until the skin breaks down and becomes infected. Neuropathy can also lead to changes in the shape of your feet and toes. If your foot doesn't fit comfortably in regular shoes, ask your doctor about special therapeutic shoes or inserts.

Nerve Damage

Quick Tip

Avoid going barefoot, even in your home, to reduce the risk of injury. Wearing socks and shoes (or slippers at home) gives feet extra protection.

Limb Loss

People with diabetes are far more likely to deal with foot-related limb loss. Because of complications related to neuropathy, poor circulation, foot ulcers, and infections, it's important to monitor foot health to know how to prevent foot complications or stop them from getting worse. Most issues of limb loss are preventable by checking your feet daily, regular care and visits with your doctor, and proper footwear.

Doctor with patient

Quick Tip

Examine your feet every day and look for blisters, cracks, and other signs of injury. Keep a diary of the changes in your feet and contact your doctor if conditions worsen.


Caring For Your Feet

Why footwear matters

Why Footwear Matters

Discover the benefits of diabetic shoes and how they can help you find new, comfortable ways to prevent foot complications with diabetes.

Download the Guide

12 Steps

12 Steps to Happier, Healthier Feet

Prevent foot issues associated with diabetes with these simple tips and find the perfect shoe for your feet.

Read the Article

How often are you (or someone else) inspecting your feet?


Foot Care Resources

Fruit and veggies

Effective Meal Planning

Get the inspiration, recipes, and tips you need to make easy, flavorful diabetes-friendly meals.

Explore Now
resource image

Medication & Treatment

The use of medications can help make existing diabetes complications easier to deal with. Get expert medical advice about common treatments like oral medications, insulin and more.

Know What to Ask
Person at desk

Footwear Matters: Risk of Amputation

Manage foot health and reduce the risk of limb loss with therapeutic footwear. Learn more about the risk of amputation.

See Why Footwear Matters
Local support

Connect With Local Support

You're not alone in your diabetes journey. Local community and social services can help you manage complications—and thrive and prosper. Use our Community Connections locator to find help with health care, nutrition, mental health, transportation, and more.

Find Local Resources
Woman looking smiling

Get Access to Medical Care

Getting the medical care you need is extremely important no matter where you are on your journey with diabetes. Find information on the care you need to help you manage your diabetes complications.

Get More Information
Feet touching floor

Home Foot Care Checklist

Better foot care starts at home. Use our at home care guide to make sure you're doing all you can to manage diabetes complications and improve your foot health.

Get the Checklist
Man lifting weights

Managing Diabetes Checklist

Use our quick checklist to help successfully manage diabetes complications all year long.

See the Checklist

Maintaining Motivation

Starting a fitness routine is easy, but maintaining it can be challenging. Get tips to stay motivated.

About Medicare Reimbursement

Getting the medical care you need is extremely important no matter where you are on your journey with diabetes. Discover how you can work with your doctor to see if you qualify for Medicare benefits.

Life Beyond the Meter

Managing your diabetes can feel like a full-time job. What works for you may not work for someone else. Find the tools that work best for you and fit your life and health goals.