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.
Compression socks gently apply pressure to feet and legs. Wearing them can be helpful to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
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.
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).
Avoid over-the-counter treatments to remove calluses since they use acids that can be harmful to a diabetic foot.
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.
Consider the use of braces or crutches if you have a foot ulcer to promote healing while reducing pressure and irritation.
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.
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.
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.
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
Discover the benefits of diabetic shoes and how they can help you find new, comfortable ways to prevent foot complications with diabetes.
12 Steps to Happier, Healthier Feet
Prevent foot issues associated with diabetes with these simple tips and find the perfect shoe for your feet.
Foot Care Resources
Effective Meal Planning
Get the inspiration, recipes, and tips you need to make easy, flavorful diabetes-friendly meals.Explore Now
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
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
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
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
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
Managing Diabetes Checklist
Use our quick checklist to help successfully manage diabetes complications all year long.See the Checklist
You May Also Like
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.