Diabetes: Steps for Foot-Washing
Taking good care of your feet is an important part of the daily routine when you have diabetes. Post this list of steps for proper foot-washing and foot care in your bathroom.
- Use warm (not hot) water.
Check the water temperature with your wrists, not your feet.
- Wash all areas of your feet.
Pay special attention to the underside of your toes and between them. Use a mild soap.
- Pat your feet dry.
Don't rub the skin on your feet.
- Dry carefully between your toes.
If the skin on your feet stays moist, bacteria or a fungus can grow. This can lead to infection.
- After washing, take care of your feet.
- Apply lanolin or other moisturizing skin cream. It will help to keep the skin on your feet soft and to prevent calluses and cracks. But don't put the cream between your toes.
- Clean underneath your toenails carefully. Don't use a sharp object to clean underneath your toenails. If you can't see well, have someone do this for you. Or have your foot specialist (podiatrist) do it regularly.
- Trim your toenails as needed. Trim and file your toenails straight across to help prevent ingrown toenails.
- Use a nail clipper, not scissors. Use an emery board to smooth the edges. Don't use a sharp-pointed file or stick to clean around the nail.
- If you can't see well or if your nails are thick, split, or yellowed, have them trimmed by your doctor or podiatrist.
- Use a pumice stone to prevent calluses only if your doctor has shown you how to use it properly.
- Put on clean socks each day.
Here are some things to avoid.
- Don't use strong antiseptic soaps, perfumed skin lotions, or chemicals (such as Epsom salt; iodine; or corn, callus, or wart removers) on your feet.
- Don't cut or pick at the skin around your toenails.
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 & Jennifer Hone MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism