Diabetes: Checking Your Feet
When you have diabetes, you'll need to check your feet every day.
- Look at all areas of your feet, including between your toes.
- Use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet.
- If you can't see well, have someone else use this checklist to examine your feet for you.
Using this checklist can help you remember to examine all areas of your feet.
Check your feet for:
What to do if you notice a problem
Skin color changes:
Patches where hair is missing
Bald patches may mean irritation from shoes or a blood flow problem. Show the areas to your doctor during your next visit.
Try to discover the cause of the blister. Friction or rubbing against your skin causes blisters. You may need new shoes.
Break in your skin
Check the underside of your toes and the area between the toes for breaks in the skin.
Calluses (hardened areas of skin) and corns (pressure injuries, usually found on or between toes)
Show the area to your doctor at your next visit. This is very important.
Peeling skin or tiny blisters between your toes or cracking and oozing of the skin
This may be athlete's foot. Treating athlete's foot early can prevent serious foot infections.
Moisture between your toes
Dry between your toes well. Moisture between your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing infection.
Numbness, burning, or "pins and needles" feeling
Call your doctor if you have new numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away after changing position.
Call your doctor immediately. Do not try to treat a foot ulcer at home.
If you check your feet regularly, you usually will see a problem before it becomes an ulcer.
Call your doctor for an appointment. Do not treat an ingrown toenail at home.
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology