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Diabetes: Steps for Foot-Washing - Topic Overview

Because you have diabetes, you need to wash your feet carefully each day. Post this list of proper foot-washing steps in your bathroom.

Wash and dry your feet

  1. Use warm (not hot) water. Check the water temperature with your wrists, not your feet. You can soak your feet for about 10 minutes if you want to.
  2. Wash all areas of your feet, especially the underside of your toes and between them. Use a mild soap.
  3. Pat your feet dry. Don't rub the skin on your feet.
  4. Dry carefully between your toes. If the skin on your feet stays moist, bacteria or a fungus can grow, which can lead to infection.

After washing

  1. Apply lanolin or other moisturizing skin cream to keep the skin on your feet soft and to prevent calluses and cracks. But do not put the cream between your toes.
  2. Clean underneath your toenails carefully. Do not use a sharp object to clean underneath your toenails. If you can't see well, have someone do this for you or have your foot specialist do it regularly.
  3. Trim and file your toenails straight across. Trimming them straight across instead of rounding them will help prevent ingrown toenails. Use a nail clipper, not scissors. Use an emery board to smooth the edges. Do not use a sharp-pointed file or stick to clean around the nail. If you can't see well or if your nails are thick, split, or yellowed, have them trimmed by your doctor or a foot specialist (podiatrist).
  4. Use a pumice stone to prevent calluses only if your doctor has shown you how to use it properly.
  5. Put on clean socks daily.
Note:

Do not use strong antiseptic soaps, chemicals (such as Epsom salt; iodine; or corn, callus, or wart removers), or perfumed skin lotions on your feet.

Do not cut or pick at the skin (cuticles) around your toenails.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 26, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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