1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Type 2 Diabetes Foot Care

Follow These Steps to Healthy Feet

By

Updated December 28, 2009

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

When you have type 2 diabetes, it's so important to practice good foot care. The long term complications of diabetes can cause neuropathy which in turn causes numbness and tingling in your feet. Neuropathy is nerve damage. If you have a cut or sore on your foot, you may not be able to feel it. This can increase your risk for infections in your feet.

Because there is decreased circulation with neuropathy, infections can be very difficult to treat. Gangrene is a very serious complication of infection. It causes the death of the infected tissue which can lead to amputation.

1. Check Your Feet Every Day

Paul Viant/Getty Images
Since neuropathy can make it difficult to feel injuries and sores to your feet, it's imperative to check your feet everyday. Give them a close inspection in the morning before you put your socks and shoes on. Look closely at any possible wear spots like the backs of heels and sides of feet. Carefully check between your toes and the entire bottom surface of your feet. If it's difficult for you to see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or have a family member check them for you.

2. Clean Feet Are Happy Feet

Dave & Les Jacobs/Getty Images
Make sure to wash your feet daily with soap and water and dry them thoroughly. A daily cleaning can help you detect trouble spots before they turn serious. Keeping your feet clean will wash away any small irritants or debris that might have been picked up on the soles of your feet. It's not recommended to soak your feet, however. Soaking can cause skin to become fragile and prone to injury. It's okay to use lotions on your feet if the skin is dry, but don't use them between your toes. Lotion sitting on skin for prolonged periods can cause the integrity of the skin to be compromised.

3. Wear Soft Socks and Shoes That Fit

George Doyle/Getty Images
Make sure that you use cushiony socks and well-fitting shoes with good support. Shoes that are too big or too tight can cause problems. Feet can rub against ill-fitting shoes, causing sores. When exercising, make sure that your sneakers fit properly and wear white, absorbent socks. Never go barefoot.

4. See Your Doctor for any Foot Problems

Thinkstock/Getty Images
You can't be too careful when it comes to your feet. See your doctor right away for any open sores or infected areas on your feet. The sooner these are treated, the less the risk of serious complications will be. It's also a good idea to have your doctor check your feet when you go for your diabetes checkups. Have him assess your feet and lower legs for sensitivity and circulation, and for any potential problems.

5. Good Diabetes Management Can Keep Feet Healthy

Stockbyte/Getty Images
The best way to take care of your feet is to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Prolonged high blood glucose levels increase your risk of complications because nerves and blood vessels in lower legs and feet are damaged when blood sugar is high. Test your blood glucose often, take your prescribed medications and follow your eating plan to help keep your feet healthy.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.