Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care | Tips and Guidelines

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Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care | Tips and Guidelines

Definitions of Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care

  • Diabetic Foot Care is a daily inspection, cleaning, and thorough drying of the feet of a diabetic to prevent complications.
  • Toenail care is a Safely trim your toenails yourself, doing so properly will help you avoid getting an ulcer or footsore.

Guidelines for Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care:

Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care

  • Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, and swelling or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet.
  • Bathe feet in lukewarm, never hot, water.
  • Trim your toenails after washing your feet, when your nails are soft.
  • Cut straight across rather than in a curved fashion to help prevent ingrown toenails. Don’t cut into the corners.
  • Be careful not to cut toenails too short.
  • Be gentle when bathing your feet.
  • Moisturize your feet but not between your toes.
  • Cut nails carefully.
  • Wear clean, dry socks.
  • Consider socks made specifically for patients living with diabetes.
  • Wear socks to bed.
  • Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing.
  • Keep your feet warm and dry.
  • Consider using an antiperspirant on the soles of your feet.
  • Never walk barefoot.
  • Take care of your diabetes.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Get periodic foot exams.

Recommendation for Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care:

  • Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Be sure to take off your shoes and socks
  • Before your appointment starts so your healthcare provider will be sure to check your feet.
  • Report any cut, puncture, scrape, blister, or other injury to your foot. Also report if you have a bunion, hammertoes, ingrown toenail, or ulcer on your foot.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur
  • Black skin color anywhere on your feet.
  • Open ulcer with pus anywhere on your feet.
  • Increasing foot or leg pain.
  • New areas of redness or swelling or tender areas of the feet.
  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or greater.

What to wear:

You can help protect your Diabetic Foot and Toenail Care by wearing shoes at all times.

  • Choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes
  • Never buy tight shoes
  • Do not wear shoes made out of plastic or other materials that do not breathe. Choose leather and canvas
  • Avoid thong sandals, flip-flops, pointed-toe and open-toe shoes, and very high heels.
  • Wear shoes that can be adjusted with laces, buckles, or Velcro.
  • Inspect the inside of your shoes every day for tears or bumps that may cause pressure or irritation.
  • If you have nerve damage, give your feet a break or change shoes after five hours to change the pressure points on different areas of your feet.
  • If you experience repeated problems with your feet, ask your doctor if special shoes would help.
  • Socks can provide an extra layer of soft protection between your foot and your shoe.
  • Wear clean, dry socks.
  • Wear socks to bed if your feet are cold.
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