How to Care For Your Feet

Check your feet every day

  • Look at the bottoms and between toes.
  • Look for cuts, calluses, scratches, blisters, bruises, swelling, rashes, and color changes.
  • Feel for hot or cold areas

Wash your feet every day with mild soap and lukewarm (not hot) water

  • You may not be able to feel how hot the water is with your feet, so test it first with your elbow.
  • Wash gently between toes and around toenails.
  • Rinse and gently pat dry each foot with a soft towel.
  • Make sure you softly pat dry the area between the toes.

Apply lotion if skin is dry

  • Do not put lotion between your toes.

Use foot powder if feet are sweaty

  • Use a mild powder.
  • Rub or dust off excess powder.

File or clip your toenails only after washing and drying your feet- the nails are softer at this time

  • File or clip (using a toenail clipper) your toenails straight across.
  • Never cut or "dig" into the corners of the nail- this could lead to an ingrown toenail.
  • Do not cut or file toenails shorter than the ends of the toes.
  • Do not apply corn pads, wart, or corn removers.

Wear a clean pair of socks or stockings each day

  • Make sure the socks or stockings fit well and are not too tight.
    Do not wear knee-high stockings- they may decrease blood flow to your legs.

Wear shoes at all times

  • Even in the house, you must protect your feet from injury.

Wear shoes that fit well

  • Your feet may not feel pain from poorly fitted shoes, so use extra care when buying new shoes.
  • Break in new shoes slowly.
  • Check your feet often when wearing new shoes.
  • Some people need special shoes. Talk with your diabetes team if you have wide feet, hammer toes, bunions, or corns.

Avoid crossing your legs

  • Crossing legs can decrease blood flow to your feet.

Take your shoes and socks off

  • The doctor should check your feet every time you go for a visit.

Wash a cut or sore with soap and water

  • Do not use peroxide, iodine, or Merthiolate.
  • An antibacterial cream may be used.

Don't place feet near heat source (Heater/Heating Pad)

  • Burns can occur.
  • If feet are cold, use socks.

Report to your doctor any cuts, bruises, or sores

  • Call your doctor if you have any problems.
  • Do not be fooled by cuts, blisters, or sores that do not hurt.
To find out more about Palomar Health's services, contact us.

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