“Avoid the cold and don’t let your feet get and stay wet,” said Kolenda. “Find boots that are a good fit and protective.” Footwear that is too loose or too tight can cause minor irritations like a blister that if not properly cared for may pose major risks. Diabetes treatment specialists also warn people about how to warm up their feet, indicating that hair dryers, fireplaces, and heating pads are unsafe. Without normal heat sensitivity, it is easy for someone to accidently burn themselves.
The layer between the shoe and your foot is important. Avoid socks with seams as they can cause rubbing and irritation. Do not wear socks that cut into your leg or ankle or that fall down and bunch up in your shoe. Choose a sock that is made of a breathable material, such as cotton, or a wicking material, such as microfiber, to keep bacteria from forming.
CMC cautions people to exercise proper foot care. Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes. Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Always protect your feet by wearing shoes or hard-soled slippers or footwear.
People with diabetes should inspect their feet every day. “Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling and blisters,” said Kolenda. “If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.” Kolenda said to call or see your health care provider if you notice cuts or breaks in the skin. Also, tell your health care provider if your foot changes color, shape, or just feels different (for example, becomes less sensitive or hurts).