If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can damage your nerves or blood vessels. Nerve damage from diabetes can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. You may not feel a cut, a blister or a sore. Foot injuries such as these can cause ulcers and infections. Serious cases may even lead to amputation. Damage to the blood vessels can also mean that your feet do not get enough blood and oxygen. It is harder for your foot to heal, if you do get a sore or infection.
You can help avoid foot problems. First, control your blood sugar levels. Good foot hygiene is also crucial:
- Check your feet every day
- Wash your feet every day
- Keep the skin soft and smooth
- Smooth corns and calluses gently
- If you can see, reach, and feel your feet, trim your toenails regularly. If you cannot, ask a foot doctor (podiatrist) to trim them for you.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times
- Protect your feet from hot and cold
- Keep the blood flowing to your feet
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Amputation and Diabetes: How to Protect Your Feet (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Diabetic Complications and Amputation Prevention (American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons) Also in Spanish
- Diabetic Foot and Risk (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
- Steps to Prevent or Delay Nerve Damage (American Diabetes Association)
- Diabetic Ulcer (Neurogenic Ulcer) (VisualDX)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Diabetic Foot (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Protocol for a prospective observational study: the Australia and New Zealand...
- Article: Clinical Classification of the Diabetic Foot Syndrome Adapted to ICD-10 as...
- Article: Evaluation of methanolic crude extract of Linum usitatissimum for the removal...
- Diabetic Foot -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Diabetes Association
- Find an Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle MD/DO (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- NIDDK Information Clearinghouses and Health Information Center (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)