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:
- 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.