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Guide to Diabetes

 Looking After your Feet: Daily Footcare

People with diabetes have special reason to care for their feet as they can have complications including amputation.

Most problems can be prevented. (see common foot problems). Have your feet checked by your podiatrist  and make footcare a part of your daily routine by following the practical steps outlined below.

You can download information leaflets at the end of the page.

Daily Footcare Routine

  • Check your feet every day: You should check your feet every day for any blisters, breaks in the skin, pain or any signs of infection such as swelling, heat or redness.


  • Wash your feet every day: You should wash your feet every day in warm water using a mild soap. Rinse your feet thoroughly and dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Do not soak your feet as this may damage your skin.


  • Moisturise the surrounding areas of your feet: If your skin is dry apply moisturising cream every day, avoiding areas of broken skin and the areas between your toes.


  • Toenails: Cut or file your own toenails regularly, following the curve of the end of your toe. Use a nail file to make sure there are no sharp edges, which could press into the next toe. Do not cut down the sides of your nails as they may create a ‘spike’ of nail which could result in an ingrowing toenail.

  • Socks, stockings and tights: You should change your socks, stockings or tights every day. They should have no bulky seams and the tops should not be elasticated.

  • Avoid walking barefoot: If you walk barefoot you risk injuring your feet by stubbing your toes or standing on sharp objects which can damage the skin.
  • Check your shoes: Check the bottom of your shoes before you put them on to make sure nothing sharp has pierced the outer sole. Also, run your hand inside each shoe to check that no small objects such as stones have fallen in. Badly fitting shoes are a common cause of irritation or damage to feet. 


  • Minor cuts and blisters: If you check your feet and discover any breaks in the skin, minor cuts or blisters, then cover the area with a sterile dressing. Do not burst blisters. Contact your podiatry department or GP immediately. If these people are not available and there is no sign of healing after one day, go to your local accident and emergency department.

  • Hard skin and corns: Do not attempt to remove the hard skin or corns yourself. Do not use over-the-counter corn remedies. They are not recommended for anyone with diabetes as they can damage the skin and that can create problems.
  • Avoid Extremes of Temperature: If you have sweaty feet wear breathable shoes (e.g. trainers) change your socks and shoes frequently in summer. Bearfeet can be sunburnt if not protected. in winter keep feet warm and dry. Avoid extremes of temperatures

If you discover problems, or if you are concerned about your feet please contact your local podiatry call centre for advice. All Podiatry treatment is free on the NHS

Download Information Leaflets



Diabetes Footcare Advice - HIGH Risk

UHL Information leaflet Download Document

Diabetes Footcare - LOW Risk

UHL Information Leaflet Download Document

Diabetes Footcare Advice- Looking after your Foot Ulcer

UHL Information leaflet Download Document

Diabetes Footcare Advice - Footwear

UHL Information Leaflet Download Document

Diabetes Footcare Advice- MODERATE Risk

UHL Information leaflet Download Document

Ten Tips to Healthy Feet

DUK information leaflet Download Document