15 tips for diabetes foot care

diabetes foot care

Certified Diabetes Foot Specialist, Tasha

When you have diabetes, it’s important to take good care of your feet, as you’re more vulnerable to foot problems because diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. To ensure the best foot health, Certified Diabetes Foot Specialist and Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager, Tasha Kennon, RN, BS, CDE, shares 15 diabetes foot care tips to follow for lasting healthy, happy feet.

It’s approaching that time of the year to pull out the swim suits and flip flops, and many of you will be preparing to be poolside or at the beach. But before putting those toes in the sand, stop to think about foot safety with diabetes first. 

As a person with diabetes, you may be at greater risk of injury and infection to your feet, due to nerve damage and reduced blood flow. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that one in five people with diabetes seek hospital care for foot problems and injuries. With these increased risks, small injuries can turn into even larger complications. For example, you can develop a sore or a blister that could possibly lead to an infection, and be at increased risk of losing a toe, your foot or even your leg. 

Here are some helpful diabetes foot care tips to keep those feet and toes healthy during warmer weather and year round:


  • Check your feet daily, looking for any redness, swelling, blisters, cuts, or soreness. If you can't see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help.
  • Wash your feet daily. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Walk frequently, and be more active. Speak to your healthcare team about the proper amount of exercise.
  • Have your toenails trimmed by a professional unless you can adequately see and reach them. If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed straight across without cutting them too short. File the edges with an emery board or nail file.
  • When using lotions to the feet, always apply a thin coat and avoid the area between the toes.
  • Visit a foot care specialist or Podiatrist once or twice a year for a thorough exam.


  • Never walk barefoot, even on the beach.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about diabetic shoe coverage. Having properly fitting shoes will decrease the risk of complications.
  • Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.


  • Avoid extreme temperatures to the bottoms of your feet. Protect them from hot and cold temperatures. Don't put your feet into hot water. Always test the water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
  • Avoid crossing your legs. When seated, wiggle your toes and move your feet around. Elevate feet when sitting if you are prone to swelling of the feet and ankles.
  • Avoid smoking, as smoking increases the risk of long term complications.
  • Seek the assistance of a podiatrist or foot care specialist if you develop corns, calluses, ingrown nails or other worrisome foot care related issues.
  • Most importantly, take care of your diabetes. Work with your healthcare team to keep your blood glucose within target range, and keep your A1c within normal limits.

Make checking your feet part of your daily routine. Setting aside a small amount of time each day to properly check out your feet is a must. 

Remember: Healthy Feet are Happy Feet!


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If you suffer from diabetes, it is very important to check your feet daily. Thanks for sharing these tips!

Lauren, I’m glad you found these tips for caring for your feet helpful!

“A cool mouth, and warm feet, live long”, reads a wise old proverb. It is true: to stay healthy you have to make sure your feet are always warm.

I did not know that diabetics need to take special care of their feet as well. I'll have to show this to my mom who has diabetes, and see if she knows these tips already. I think a pair of diabetic shoes might be perfect for her. Thanks for the great info.

You’re very welcome, Dave. I’m glad you found these tips helpful, and I hope your mother will too. You sound like a wonderful son :)

I’m glad you found it helpful, Joseph! Have a great day!

Such great article it is. Thanks for sharing with us but I wanted to know that water is to be used lukewarm or normal would be fine to wash the feet.

Great Post !! your blog is very informative information share....

Vestige, it makes me happy to hear you find The LOOP blog informative! We’re always looking to share helpful content for the community, so please let me know if you’re looking for anything specific.

So walking barefoot is bad. Now I know. Very helpful you have here. Thanks for sharing.

Glad you found these tips helpful, Lizzy!

Submitted by Sushil Agarwal (not verified) on

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Thanks for tips, sometime i am feeling burning on my toe what i will do

Submitted by LOOP Blog Editorial on

In reply to by Sushil Agarwal (not verified)

Sushil, I’m happy to hear you found these tips helpful, but am sorry you’re feeling a burning sensation on your toe. I encourage you to contact your healthcare team, as they can provide you with the best advice to meet your individual needs.

My mother was recently diagnosed with diabetes and I am constantly worried about her foot care. She is more of a free spirit and wearing shoes all the time is something she does not do. I had no idea that there was such a thing as diabetic shoes! That is something I will have to look into for her and I am glad to know that insurance can cover it. Thank you so much for sharing!

Avery, I’m so glad to hear you found this article on diabetes foot care helpful. I wish you and your mother the best. You sound like a wonderful daughter :)

The type of footwear that my wife wears is what gets me somewhat worried. I wonder though, would a foot care provide her with an insole shoe or something for her to put in her shoes? The shoes that she bought has been giving her problems so it would like she would need some type of foot care or massage.

Andre, this sounds like a great question for your wife’s healthcare team, as they can provide the best advice to meet her individual needs. You sound like a wonderful, caring husband. :)

Really information post.
Foot care is one of the major concerns for diabetic patient. Many people who have diabetic suffer with various issues like numbness, tingling, foot ulcers, as well as heel and ankle pain as a result of diabetes. Sometimes a simple foot injury to a diabetic people cause non healing ulcers which require long term treatment. The little bit ignorance in foot injury may lead to amputations.

So follow diabeic foot care tips and keep your feet heathy. :)

It is found that people generally take care of their hands, but often they ignore their feet. But taking care of your feet not only makes them beautiful but also makes them free from sore and painful.

My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes. We've been working on life changes, and we need to work on wearing the right footwear. I really thought it was interesting what you said about how he needs to wear shoes everywhere he goes, even on the beach.

Submitted by Shelia Adamson (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Thanks for all the information on caring for my feet my feet and legs hurt and burn all the time 24/7 so all the information I can get on my feet is awesome.

Submitted by Dennis Hahn (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I really appreciate you hard work which is shown in the blog, my mother is diagnosed with diabetes and I recently take her to podiatrist for routine foot care checkup. But, after reading your blog I started using tips you shared on daily basis, it really work for my mother. Thanks for sharing your Blog!!

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Dennis Hahn (not verified)

Thanks for reading, Dennis! We're glad you've found the information helpful for your mom.

Thanks for these tips for diabetes foot care. It's good to know that you should try to wear shoes that fit well. I'm kind of interested to learn how you can tell if a shoe fits perfectly or if it has to be custom made.

Such a great post.Thanks for the Tips ,these Tips are really helpful.keep sharing..!!

It's interesting to know that wearing shoes designed for diabetics could help your feet avoid complications. My brother recently found out that some of his health issues come from him having diabetes. Taking steps to prevent issues and treat problems quickly could hopefully help him live without extra issues because of his feet.

Submitted by Divya (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

As we take care of our skin, it's also important to take care of our feet because our feet show us all over health. Abd our feet take our body weight. Thanks for sharing this article, I'm for sure gonna start taking care of my feet from today.

Submitted by Christina pastran (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

My feet have started becoming numb on the bottom. Been going on for about a year now.. what can I do to relieve the numbness?

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Christina pastran (not verified)

We're sorry to hear this, Christina. We recommend connecting with your healthcare team to explore your available options.

Diabetes patients are vulnerable to foot injuries, which may lead to poor healing or even amputations. Patients can be protected from these risks by being knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of certain types of foot injury and how to best prevent them from happening.

Hello every one, here every one is sharing such familiarity, so it’s fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to go to see this blog all the time.

Thank you for sharing these 15 valuable tips for diabetes foot care. Taking care of our feet is important for everyone, but it is especially crucial for those who have diabetes, as they are at a higher risk of developing foot-related complications. Your tips are informative, practical, and easy to understand, and they will undoubtedly help many people with diabetes maintain healthy feet and avoid potential problems. Your efforts to raise awareness about this issue are greatly appreciated, and I am sure that your tips will be of great benefit to many.

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