One of the most common side effects of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, or diabetic foot.
Diabetes occurs when there are high levels of blood glucose in the body. Experiencing high
levels over time can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the feet. Some people have
tingling and/or numbness sensations in one or both feet while others may have no feeling at all.
Diabetes can cause poor circulation in the feet and can lead to serious infections. Without proper
care of the feet, diabetics can suffer from tissue death.
How to Take Care of Diabetic Foot
Whether the feet have sores, cuts, or damage, daily care of the feet is highly recommended to
prevent complications. Managing the blood sugar levels is also key to encourage healthy feet.
Wash Your Feet with Lukewarm Water
Wash your feet at least once a day in lukewarm water. The feet should be thoroughly cleansed
and immediately dried to prevent sores from developing. Next, apply lotion to prevent dryness
and itching but DO NOT apply between the toes as it can promote fungal growth.
Always Wear Your Shoes or Socks
Diabetics are reminded to never go barefoot, especially when venturing outside of the home.
Wearing socks, slippers, and shoes can help prevent any cuts or damage that may otherwise not
be felt or noticed.
Be Careful While Trimming Nails
Grooming toenails can be a risk for those with diabetes. The nails should be cut straight across
with the edges and tip gently filed smooth. If you have someone else trim your nails, inform
them of your diabetic foot condition so they will be aware of any potential sores or damage or
Never Treat Corns, Calluses, or Any Injuries Yourself
A podiatrist (foot doctor) should be consulted if you experience any signs of sores, calluses, or
corns developing. Professional treatment of these and other foot problems is advisable as over-
the-counter treatments may burn or damage the skin surface of the feet.
Avoid Activities That Can Injure Your Foot
As diabetic foot raises the risk of undetected injury, feet-friendly activities are encouraged. Any
physical activities such as walking or cycling require proper footwear. Diabetics are advised not
to use a hot water bottle, foot baths, or heating blankets or pads.
Check Your Feet Daily
Diabetic foot problems can develop quickly, almost overnight. Each foot should be carefully
checked at least once a day to ensure there is no bruising, cuts, sores, or broken skin. See your
podiatrist or family doctor if any new issues arise.
Select Your Shoes and Socks Carefully
It is crucial that every diabetic not only wears socks and shoes but also takes it one step further
by wearing proper socks and shoes. New shoes should fit well and can be broken in slowly over
time. Socks should be cotton to allow the feet to breathe and should not fit too tightly against the
Keep Your Feet Warm and Dry
With the amount of rain and snow we get in Ontario, it may be hard to keep your feet warm and
dry. If socks and footwear become wet or damp, remove them immediately and thoroughly dry
your feet before putting on dry socks.
Keep a Check on Your Diabetes
For the sake of your feet, and your overall health, diabetics are advised to manage their diabetes
with prescribed medication, exercise, and healthy eating. Any concerns should be addressed by
your family doctor or by visiting a foot clinic in Caledon.
Smoking can worsen the effects of diabetic foot because tobacco is known to restrict blood flow.
The toxic chemicals in tobacco constricts the blood vessels, denying your feet (and other parts of
the body) from receiving oxygen enriched blood flow.
Contact the Foot Doctors at Heart Lake Health Centre in Brampton
If you are a diabetic or are concerned about diabetic foot, see the foot specialists at Brampton’s Heart Lake Health Centre. Our team at the foot clinic provides solutions to support chronic health conditions, alleviate pain, and help mobility. At Heart Lake Health Centre, a letter of referral from your family doctor or walk-in clinic is requested. We do have doctors at our on-site walk-in clinic to help you. Call us today at (905)846-9255 for more information or to book an appointment.