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Why Foot Care Matters

Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to several diabetes-related foot complications, including:

  • Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves of the feet, leading to unusual sensations in the feet and loss of feeling.

  • Skin changes, including very dry skin that may crack or peel.

  • Calluses, or areas of thickened and hardened skin, that form on high pressure areas.

  • Poor circulation, which leads to poor and delayed healing.

  • Ulcers, or open sores on the foot, which can lead to hospitalization or amputation, if left untreated.

  • Amputation, which is the loss or removal of a body part.


Practicing good foot care can help prevent diabetes-related foot complications.


If you have corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, warts, splinters or other wounds, have them treated by your healthcare professional.


What To Do

Include the following in your daily foot care routine:

  • Wash your feet in warm (not hot) water with mild soap. Do not soak.

  • Dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes.

  • Check your feet with a hand mirror for cuts, cracks, blisters, etc.

  • Clean cuts or scratches with mild soap and water, and cover with a dry dressing for sensitive skin.

  • Trim your toenails straight across and file any sharp edges.

  • Apply good lotion to your heels and soles, but not between toes.

  • Wear fresh, clean socks and well-fitting shoes daily.


What Not To Do

When living with diabetes, DO NOT:

  • Use over-the-counter wart and corn treatments.

  • Wear anything tight around the legs. If you need compression, get professionally sized

  • Go barefoot, even indoors.

  • Use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet.

  • Sit, especially cross-legged, for long periods of time.

  • Smoke.

  • Wear over-the-counter insoles.


Prevention is always the best medicine. Taking steps to protect your health and manage your diabetes through physical activity, good nutrition, smoking cessation and a medication plan specific to you will help reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications.


Proper foot care is another important step for keeping your feet and body healthy while living with diabetes.


Our Primary Health Care Clinic has Foot Care Clinics every Friday at our Timmins location. This is open to Mushkegowuk members who have a Primary Health Care Provider. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment: 705-269-6662.

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