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Diabetes: Protecting Your Feet

Topic Overview

Because you have diabetes, you will need to be especially careful to protect your feet from injury.

General precautions

  • Wear shoes all the time. If you do not want to wear shoes indoors, wear slippers with hard soles and good support. Keep your shoes next to your bedside, and slip them on your feet as soon as you get out of bed. This will help you develop the habit of wearing footwear and will protect your feet.
  • Wear socks in bed if your feet are cold at night.
  • Apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet when they will be exposed to the sun.
  • Wear protective beach or surf shoes when swimming. Wear shower shoes in public baths and pools to prevent athlete's foot, plantar warts, and other contagious conditions.
  • Keep the walkways in your home clear. Pick up objects that you might trip over. Arrange the furniture so that you have a clear path through your house, especially a clear path to the bathroom at night.

Check your shoes

  • Always check inside your shoes before you put them on. Look and feel for loose objects, pebbles or dirt, a torn lining, rough spots, or anything else that could cause discomfort or injury.
  • Before putting on your shoes, check the soles of the shoes for any nails or tacks that may puncture your foot.

Things to avoid

  • Wearing tight shoes
  • Wearing shoes without socks or stockings
  • Walking barefoot, even indoors
  • Using hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet
  • Walking on very hot pavement or beach sand while barefoot or while wearing thin-soled shoes
  • Wearing garters or tight-fitting socks or shoes
  • Sitting with your legs or ankles crossed

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Last Revised September 26, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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