The Importance of Foot Care for Diabetic Patients

Apr 9, 2023

Foot problems are a common occurrence in individuals with diabetes. These foot problems can arise because of nerve and blood vessel damage caused by high blood sugar levels. But with proper care and attention, you can reduce the risk of developing complications.

At our office, we understand the importance of foot care for individuals living with diabetes. We offer custom orthotics and diabetic shoes that can help alleviate foot pain. In this blog post, we will discuss the significance of diabetic foot care and provide practical tips on how to take care of your feet to maintain good health and prevent complications.

The Importance of Foot Care for Diabetic Patients

Foot care for diabetic patients is a little different from the normal routine. This is because your feet are more delicate and susceptible to infections and diseases. By taking care of your feet, you prevent the risk of serious complications for foot disorders. Here are some of the most common ones.


With diabetes, your feet are already not getting enough blood. Due to this, they cannot fight infections and heal as quickly as a healthy body would. Even the smallest of wounds can become infected and very serious to your foot health. 

Since you have a high sugar level in your tissues and blood, bacteria will grow and open doors for infections to develop more quickly. Add the fact that you might have damaged nerves and neuropathy, you might not even notice a foot wound until it has done significant damage to your foot. 

Dry and Cracked Feet

Diabetes causes various changes in the foot’s skin. Your skin will become very dry and even peel and crack in your extremities. This happens because the nerves are already damaged, and your body’s ability to control moisture and oil has been altered. We offer products like Kera-42 Urea Cream and Hydro-Cutis Cream in our store to help combat dryness in your feet. 

Foot Deformities

The nerve damage resulting from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of one’s feet. While rare, you may suffer from Charcot’s Foot. This starts with redness in the feet, swelling, and a feeling of unusual warmth.

After a while, the bones supporting the toes and feet shift and even break in the extremities. This causes your feet to have deformities and unusual shapes.


In worst-case scenarios, diabetes can lead to amputations if foot care is neglected. As a person living with diabetes, you are likely to suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that reduces the flow of blood to the feet.

The nerve damage also makes you likely to suffer neuropathy as you are unable to feel your feet. If these two issues go unmanaged or are at extremities, they may call for amputations.

Poor Circulation

Diabetic people often experience poor blood circulation in the feet. This is because the disease causes blood vessels of the feet to harden and narrow hence preventing adequate blood flow. It is a risky complication that opens doors for all the above problems.

Inspecting feet as part of foot care for diabetic patients

How to Take Extra Care of Your Feet

Taking care of your feet is crucial in helping you avoid significant complications. The best thing is that you can carry out most of these diabetic foot care activities at home.

Inspect Your Feet Daily

As a diabetic, it is important to check your feet daily for redness, swelling, sores, calluses, cuts, wounds of any kind, or any changes. If you cannot see the bottom part, use a mirror or ask someone for help. Checking every day helps you catch problems early on and makes treatments usually simple and easy.

Bathe Feet Gently in Warm Water Not Hot

The emphasis on this care tip is using lukewarm water. While soaking in hot water may feel comforting, it could dry your skin further. Ensure the water is just warm.

Also, be very gentle when washing your feet as they are already sensitive due to nerve damage. Use a soft cloth and mild soap to ensure they are well-cleaned.

Moisturize Your Feet (Not Between Your Toes)

After washing your feet, dry them completely and apply moisturizing lotion on the top and bottom areas. Do not apply between the toes as this could foster a breeding environment for bacteria and infections leading to conditions like athlete’s foot.

Be Careful When Cutting Your Toenails

Due to the feet’s sensitivity and nerve damage, you must be careful when cutting your toenails. Your best bet is cutting them straight across and leaving some space between the nail and the skin. To avoid mistakes, we advocate that you see our podiatrist for help in grooming your nails. Using the right tools and techniques will help you to avoid conditions like ingrown toenails.

Consider Specially-Made Socks for Diabetics

Since diabetics struggle to keep their feet warm and moisture locked, these socks come in handy. These socks are designed with extra cushioning and fibers to draw moisture away from the skin.

When wearing socks, ensure that they are clean and dry. Change your socks daily and when socks get wet to ensure your feet avoid infections.

Inspect Shoes Before Putting Them on for any Foreign Debris

Due to the damaged nerves in your feet, you may be unable to feel any objects in your shoes. As such, you must carefully inspect them before wearing them to ensure that nothing is hidden in your shoes that could cause damage to your feet.

Keep Feet Warm and Dry

Diabetes hates wetness and moisture. This is because the extra moisture makes you more susceptible to fungal infections caused by fungi that thrive in dark and damp environments. 

Never Walk Around Barefoot!

As you already know, diabetics lose sensitivity in their feet. Walking barefoot exposes you to injuries such as cuts, and you might be unable to notice them due to damaged nerves. Even if it is around the home, wear some slippers or house shoes.

Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable

Blood sugar levels are the cornerstone of diabetes. The higher the levels, the more effects of diabetes you will experience. This is because your insulin is unable to control it. By keeping the levels stable, you prevent long-term serious health problems.

Don’t Smoke!

We all know that smoking kills. Well, in a diabetic’s case, smoking prevents an adequate flow of blood to the feet. This, in turn, exacerbates diabetic peripheral sensory, motor, and autonomic neuropathy.

Get Diabetic Shoes

With the feet taking the hardest hit in diabetes, you must get a good pair of diabetic shoes. These shoes are specifically designed to accommodate foot issues resulting from diabetes. They alleviate neuropathy, foot deformities, and poor blood circulation.

Get Custom Orthotics

We recommend that you get custom orthotics. These are specially-constructed devices to enhance your feet’s comfort and support, and are specially designed to fit your feet exactly. Schedule your appointment with us, and we can have something personalized for your feet.

Get Regular Checkups with Our Podiatrist

While you have taken good care of your feet so far, you must get regular checkups at least once a year. Through annual appointments, Dr. Elenburg will be able to track your feet’s progression, assess any damage to the feet, catch problems, and prevent further complications.

Contact Us for Help with Diabetic Foot Care

Are you ready to elevate your foot care and get better foot health? We’ve got you covered! Our foot care team is expertly trained to save your feet from adverse diabetes effects. Contact us today and schedule an appointment because you don’t have to go through this alone!

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609 W Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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