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Diabetes Health Center

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Taking Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime

6. Trim Your Toenails Each Week or When Needed

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet.

Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file.

Don't cut into the corners of the toenail.

If you can't see well, or if your toenails are thick or yellowed, have a foot care doctor trim them.

7. Wear Shoes and Socks at All Times

Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot -- not even indoors -- because it is easy to step on something and hurt your feet.

Always wear socks, stockings, or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores.

Choose socks made of cotton or wool. They help keep your feet dry.

Check the insides of your shoes before you put them on to be sure the lining is smooth and that there are no objects in them.

Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet.

8. Protect Your Feet from Hot and Cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement.

Put sun screen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn.

Keep your feet away from radiators and open fires.

Do not put hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet.

Wear socks at night if your feet get cold. Lined boots are good in winter to keep your feet warm.

Check your feet often in cold weather to avoid frostbite.

Make sure to call your doctor right away if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not begin to heal after one day.

9. Keep the Blood Flowing to Your Feet

Put your feet up when you are sitting.

Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to improve blood flow in your feet and legs.

Don't cross your legs for long periods of time.

Don't wear tight socks, elastic or rubber bands, or garters around your legs.

Don't smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet. Ask your doctor or nurse to help you stop smoking.

If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work with your health care team to lower it.

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