- Do not smoke. Smoking decreases the blood supply to your feet.
- Never walk barefoot, neither indoors or out.
- Examine your feet daily for redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems from shoes or other sources. Look at the bottom of your feet and between the toes. Use a mirror or have someone else look for you.
- Call your doctor immediately if you experience any injury to your foot. Even a minor injury is an emergency for a patient with diabetes.
- Examine your shoes for foreign objects, protruding nails and rough spots inside before putting them on. Look and feel.
- Buy shoes late in the day when your feet have the most swelling. Never buy shoes that need "breaking in." They should be immediately comfortable. Request shoes with deep toe boxes and shoes made of leather or other flexible upper material.
- Do not wear new shoes more than two hours at a time. Rotate your shoes. Do not wear the same ones every day.
- Never wear sandals or flip flops.
- Lubricate your entire foot if your skin is dry, but avoid putting cream between your toes. Try Curel, Lubriderm, olive oil, vitamin E oil, lanolin or Eucerin cream.
- Do not soak your feet. Skin can break down and won't heal well.
- Keep feet away from heat sources (heating pads, hot water bottles, electric blankets, radiator, fireplaces). You can burn your feet without knowing it. Water temperature should be less than 92 degrees. Estimate the temperature with your elbow or bath thermometer (you can get one in any store that sells infant products).
- Don't use any tape or sticky products such as corn plasters on your feet. They can rip your skin.
- Do not file down, remove or shave calluses or corns yourself. These should be taken care of by your physician or someone your physician recommends.
- Do not use any chemicals or strong antiseptic solutions on your feet. Iodine, salicylic acid, corn/callus removers and hydrogen peroxide are potentially dangerous.
- Trim your toenails straight across, or have a medical provider do it for you.
- Do not wear stockings or socks with tight elastic backs and do not use garters. Wear only light-colored socks and do not wear any socks with holes. Always wear socks with your shoes.
- In the winter, wear wool socks and protective footwear. Avoid getting your feet wet in the snow and rain and avoid letting toes get cold.
- If the circulation in your feet is impaired, tell your medical doctor so he/she can take this into account when prescribing medication for high blood pressure or heart disease.