It's especially important to look after your feet if you have diabetes.
How do I take care of my feet if I have diabetes and when should I seek professional help?
Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling in your feet where they become numb and tingle (pins and needles). This can mean foot injuries do not heal well, and you may not notice if your foot is sore or injured.
- See a podiatrist at least once a year.
- Keep your feet clean and free from infection.
- Wear shoes that fit well and don’t squeeze or rub. Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems.
- Never walk barefoot, especially in the garden or on the beach on holidays and try to avoid sitting with your legs crossed.
- Get corns or hard skin treated by a podiatrist.
- Seek treatment from your GP or podiatrist if foot blisters or injuries do not heal quickly.
- Treat ulcers urgently, within 24 hours, especially if there is redness or swelling around the area.
- Stop smoking to protect your feet. If you have diabetes, it's important to try to stop smoking. Smoking impairs the blood circulation, particularly in people with diabetes.
When should I see a Podiatrist or GP?
- you notice breaks in the skin of your foot, or discharge
- the skin over part or all of the foot changes colour and becomes more red, blue, pale or dark
- you notice extra swelling in your feet where there was a blister or injury
- you have any cause for concern
- At least once a year for a diabetic foot check.