Proper Equipment / Shoes

An appropriate and comfortable fit is an important factor in preventing pain. Read More


25% of people with diabetes will develop foot problems related to the disease.

Diabetes affects approximately 16 million Americans. This disease disrupts the vascular system and can have negative affects on the legs and feet.

Diabetic foot conditions develop from a combination of causes including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic patients may experience minor cuts, scrapes, blisters and pressure sores that go unnoticed. Poor circulation adds to the seriousness of the condition. The lower legs are especially affected, with reduced amounts of oxygen reaching the extremities. This causes injuries to heal poorly, swelling and dryness of the foot.

If these conditions and potential injuries aren't managed and are left untreated, it could lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. That's why it's critical for diabetic patients to take special care to prevent foot complications.

Treatment and Prevention

There are several simple things you can do and products you can use to help treat and prevent the conditions associated with diabetes. Start with footwear and orthotics to give your foot extra cushioning and protection.

Choose footwear that has:

  • a high, wide toe box for plenty of space around your toes
  • removable insoles for more flexibility in fit and to provide room for custom orthotics
  • rock soles specially designed to reduce pressure in the parts of the

In addition, good orthotics will:

  • protect the insensitive diabetic foot
  • accommodate pressure spots
  • provide additional comfort

By adding some simple steps to your daily routine you can easily monitor your condition and can keep your feet healthy.

Check Your Feet - Every Day

Choose a time of day and make this a regular part of your routine. Otherwise you may miss a small injury or bruise that could elevate into something worse. If you have trouble bending, use a plastic mirror or family member to help.

Wash Your Feet Every Day

Double check to make sure the water is warm, not hot. Don't soak your feet too long, or they may dry out. Then be sure to try thoroughly between the toes and use talcum powder to keep your feet dry.

Moisturize and Maintain

Rub a thin coat of lotion or cream on the top and bottom of your feet. Avoid between the toes - this may cause an infection.

Always Wear Socks and Shoes

Even indoors, it's easy to step on something and hurt your foot. The best way to avoid blisters and sores is to choose seamless socks made of materials that wick moisture from your feet. Check to make sure the lining in your shoe is smooth and there are no foreign objects (like pebbles) inside before putting them on.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Wear shoes anytime you're at the beach or on hot pavement. Use sunscreen if your feet are exposed. Make sure to keep your feet away from open flames and radiators. Do not use heating pads or hot water bottles on your feet. And when your feet are cold, wear seamless, padded socks and make sure your feet stay warm to avoid frostbite.

Keep the Blood Flowing

Increasing circulation helps keep everything healthy. Whenever you're sitting, prop your feet up. Take 5 minutes several times a day to wiggle your toes.

  • Do NOT cross your legs for long periods of time
  • Do NOT wear tight socks, elastic or rubber bands around your legs
  • Do NOT wear restrictive footwear or foot products
  • Do NOT smoke

Stay Active

Ask your doctor to help develop an exercise program that works for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and biking are all good ways to keep active. Avoid any activities that are hard on the feet, like running or jumping. And always warm up before and cool down after.

Communication With Your Doctor

Talking with your physicians and scheduling regular appointments can help keep you on track and motivated to stay healthy. Your doctor will check your sense of feeling in your feet and help you identify potential problems.

With a proper lifestyle and smart footwear choices, diabetes doesn't have to be a debilitating condition. Talk with your physician if you have any questions or concerns about your unique situation.

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