Step Up Your Foot Care: Essential Tips for People with Diabetes

Running a small business requires dedication and hard work. You’re constantly on your feet, ensuring everything runs smoothly. But what about the very foundation that keeps you moving – your feet?

Step Up Your Foot Care: Essential Tips for People with Diabetes

For people with diabetes, foot care becomes even more crucial. Diabetes can affect nerves and circulation in the feet, increasing the risk of unnoticed injuries and infections. This can lead to serious complications, including diabetic foot ulcers and even amputations.

The good news is that proactive foot care can significantly reduce these risks. Here, we’ll discuss the importance of foot care for people with diabetes and provide essential tips to keep your feet healthy.

Why Foot Care Matters for Diabetics

Diabetes can damage nerves in the feet, leading to a condition called neuropathy. This can cause numbness, tingling, or burning sensations, making it difficult to feel injuries or infections. Additionally, diabetes can affect circulation, reducing blood flow to the feet. This can slow down healing and increase the risk of infections becoming serious.

Because of these complications, even a small cut or blister on a diabetic foot can quickly become a major problem. If left untreated, these issues can progress to ulcers, which are open sores that struggle to heal. In the worst-case scenario, these ulcers can become infected and lead to gangrene, necessitating amputation.

The Daily Foot Care Routine

Develop a daily habit of inspecting your feet thoroughly. Ideally, do this at a time that’s easy to remember, like after you shower or before bed. Sit down in a well-lit area and use a mirror to examine the bottoms and tops of your feet for any signs of trouble. Pay close attention to areas between the toes, the heels, and around the ankles.

Here’s what you’re looking for during your inspection:

  • Cuts or Blisters: Even a small cut or blister can become a serious problem for someone with diabetes. Look for any breaks in the skin, no matter how minor they may seem.

  • Redness or Swelling: These can be signs of infection or inflammation. If you notice any redness or swelling, especially around a cut or blister, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

  • Changes in Nail Colour: Healthy toenails should be smooth and clear. If you notice any discoloration, thickening, or ingrown toenails, address them promptly. Early intervention can prevent more serious issues.

  • Dry or Cracked Skin: Dry, cracked skin can be a breeding ground for infection. Look for any areas of dryness or cracking, particularly on the heels and between the toes.

Gentle Cleansing and Thorough Drying:

Washing your feet daily is an essential part of your foot care routine. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Temperature Matters: Use lukewarm water, not hot water. Hot water can dry out your skin and increase your risk of cracks.

  • Mild Soap is Best: Opt for a gentle, fragrance-free soap to avoid irritating your skin.

  • Cleanse Thoroughly: Wash the tops and bottoms of your feet, paying particular attention to the areas between your toes. Use a soft washcloth to gently remove any dirt or debris.

  • Drying is Crucial: After washing, thoroughly dry your feet with a clean towel. Don’t forget to dry between your toes carefully. Leaving your feet damp can create a moist environment that promotes fungal infections.

Hydration is Key:

Dry, cracked skin on your feet can be a gateway for infection. Here’s how to keep your feet hydrated:

  • Moisturize Daily: Use a lotion specifically designed for feet to keep them hydrated and supple. Apply the lotion to the tops and bottoms of your feet, but avoid putting it between your toes.

  • Choose the Right Lotion: Look for a lotion that is fragrance-free and absorbs quickly. Lotions with petroleum jelly or lanolin can be particularly effective for dry feet.

  • Target Dry Areas: Pay particular attention to areas that tend to get dry, such as your heels and the balls of your feet.

Remember, consistency is key! By incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce your risk of foot complications and keep your feet healthy for a long time.

Finding the Perfect Fit: Shoes that Support Your Feet

The shoes you choose play a critical role in maintaining healthy feet, especially for those with diabetes. Here are some key considerations when selecting footwear:

  • The Importance of Proper Fit: Ill-fitting shoes are a recipe for trouble. Your shoes should fit snugly but comfortably, allowing your toes to wiggle freely without feeling cramped. Avoid shoes that are too tight, as this can cause friction, blisters, and corns. Shoes that are too loose can also be problematic, leading to instability and a potential increase in falls.

Expert Tip: It’s best to get your feet measured by a professional at a shoe store to ensure you’re getting the correct size. Feet can change size over time, so it’s recommended to have your feet re-measured every year, especially if you have diabetes.

  • Prioritizing Arch Support: Good arch support is essential for distributing your weight evenly and reducing strain on your feet. Look for shoes with built-in arch support or consider adding arch supports (orthotics) if recommended by your doctor. Proper arch support can help prevent pain, fatigue, and even foot deformities.

  • Spacious Comfort: The Wide Toe Box Advantage: People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot deformities due to nerve damage. A wide toe box provides ample space for your toes to spread out comfortably, preventing them from rubbing against each other and developing problems like corns, bunions, or hammertoes.

  • Breathable Materials Keep Feet Fresh: Choose shoes made from breathable materials like leather, mesh, or canvas. These materials allow for proper ventilation and prevent moisture build-up, which can lead to fungal infections. Avoid shoes made from non-breathable materials like plastic, which can trap heat and moisture.

Additional Considerations for Diabetic Footwear:

  • Seamless Interiors: Look for shoes with seamless interiors to minimize the risk of friction and irritation against your skin. This is especially important for people with neuropathy, who may not feel these irritations readily.

  • Fasteners for a Secure Fit: Opt for shoes with laces or adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit for optimal comfort and support. Avoid slip-on shoes or sandals, as they can easily slip off and increase your risk of injury.

  • Regular Inspections: Examine your shoes regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as worn-out soles or loose seams. Replace your shoes as soon so they start to show signs of wear to maintain proper support and protection for your feet.

By following these tips and consulting with a healthcare professional or podiatrist, you can find the perfect footwear to keep your feet comfortable, supported, and healthy.

Managing Risks and Preventing Problems

In addition to the daily foot care routine and footwear choices, here are some additional tips to manage risks and prevent foot problems:

  • Blood sugar control: Maintaining good blood sugar control is crucial for overall diabetic health and reduces the risk of foot complications.

  • Wear shoes at all times: Never go barefoot, even indoors. This protects your feet from injuries and infections.

  • Avoid smoking: Smoking can further reduce circulation in the feet, increasing the risk of complications.

Knowing When to Seek Professional Help

It’s crucial to know when to seek professional help for your feet. Here are some signs and symptoms that require immediate medical attention:

  • Any breaks in the skin, including cuts, blisters, or cracks

  • Redness, swelling, or warmth in the feet

  • Drainage from any wounds on the feet

  • Pain or discomfort in the feet

Regular podiatric checkups are highly recommended for people with diabetes. A podiatrist can assess your foot health, identify any potential problems early on, and provide personalized advice and treatment plans.


Taking care of your feet isn’t just about managing diabetes in the present; it’s an investment in your overall health and well-being for years to come. By incorporating these simple daily practices – regular inspection, gentle cleansing, proper hydration, and choosing the right footwear – you can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious foot complications. Remember, even minor issues can escalate quickly for someone with diabetes. Proactive foot care empowers you to take control of your health and prevent problems before they arise.

It is important to prioritize well-being so fostering connections with fantastic healthcare providers is a key part of our commitment to your health. That’s why we recommend collaborating with experts like AppliedMotion Physiotherapy and Podiatry. Their team of experienced podiatrists can provide comprehensive foot care, including routine checkups, diabetic foot care advice, and treatment for any existing foot problems. Additionally, their expertise in sports physiotherapy can help you stay active and mobile, further promoting overall well-being.

Taking care of your feet doesn’t have to be a chore. By making it a part of your daily routine, you’re laying the foundation for a healthy and active life. Remember, empowered knowledge is key. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor or a podiatrist. Together, you can create a personalized foot care plan that keeps you moving comfortably and confidently for years to come.