Diabetes foot care: Why is foot care important?

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that leads to an increase in blood glucose levels. According to NCBI, Diabetes is the leading disease in the world that leads to death and approximately about 5 million deaths are recorded in the year 2017.

People with Diabetes have an increased risk of getting affected by other diseases. Additionally, the healing time for diabetic people is also high when compared to non-diabetics.

The primary reason for slow-wound healing is that the body will not be able to produce insulin or use the produced insulin. The sugar levels in the body increase, which interferes with the wound-healing ability.

According to a study conducted by the Journal of American Society of Plastic Surgeons in the year 2013, the link between wound healing and blood glucose level was studied.

However, the wound-healing process will be the same for everyone. The only difference is the healing process will occur at a lower rate. The blog will brief on the importance of foot care for diabetic patients.

Why is foot care important during Diabetes?

High blood glucose levels can be harmful and can cause harmful consequences. If a person’s blood glucose level is consistently high, it can lead to a health condition called diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy causes damage to the nerves, and it can also lead to loss of circulation in the lower extremities.

If the circulation in the lower extremities reduces, there are possibilities that a person will lose their sensation and that particular area will become numb.

One major drawback of Diabetes is that people will not realise it until they have foot problems. So it is important to check for any unhealed wounds regularly.

Foot ulcers are a major complication of high blood glucose. Even if your past injuries heal, there is a risk of developing the ulcer again in future.

Foot deformities can lead to abnormal toes or bottom of the feet. This can lead to decreased locomotion.

Nerve damage can lead to decreased blood flow and loss of blood circulation. Decreased blood circulation can weaken the skin, which can lead to foot ulcers in future.

Microorganisms like fungi and bacteria specifically thrive in high glucose levels in the blood. If ulcer formation occurs, these infections break down the skin and can further cause complications.

Foot care during Diabetes 

People with Diabetes should take special care of their feet. If problems or wounds are detected early, they can be treated effectively, and further complications can be avoided.

Diabetes can lead to gangrene—where body tissues die due to the lack of blood circulation or bacterial infection. This disease commonly affects the arms and legs. However, the disease can occur in muscles and any organs inside the body.

Some major complications can be prevented with small practices that will make a big change in your life.

Everyday foot care

The foot is the most important and essential organ of the body. The foot is an essential organ for locomotion. So, caring for your feet is essential

  • Check your foot daily for any swelling or redness.
  • Wash your foot daily with proper soap and water. Sometimes, the dirt on the feet can also lead to infections.
  • If your foot is dry, moisturise your skin properly. Cracked heels can be a point of entry for microorganisms.
  • Try to wash your feet with warm water. Make sure the water is not hot.
  • Do not walk barefoot. Walking barefoot can cause injuries.
  • Before wearing your shoes, check if there are any pebbles. These can lead to injury.
  • Trim your toenails properly and gently smooth the sharp edges.
  • Do not try to remove any callus or corns in your feet by yourself.
  • Do not keep your foot in one position for a long.

Tips while buying new shoes

Choosing the correct footwear for your feet is important. Choose footwear that is skin-friendly.

  • Do not buy any footwear that is not your size. Only buy footwear that perfectly fits your feet.
  • Avoid buying footwear that is open-toed and has narrow toes.
  • Measure your feet and choose shoes that have good air circulation.

Nerve supply to the feet

Nerves carry messages from the brain to the other parts of the body and vice versa. If nerves are damaged, a body part can become paralysed and lead to further complications.

When a person has high blood glucose levels, the most affected are the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy can cause painful symptoms like

  • Tingling in the feet
  • The sensation of prickling with pins and needles.
  • Numbness that can lead to partial or permanent loss of movement.
  • Wounds or ulcers that heal very slowly.

These painful symptoms can be avoided if a person maintains a normal blood glucose level. Additionally, even if you keep your blood glucose levels under check, taking care of your feet is important.

Patients with Diabetes will have poor blood circulation, which can lead to the narrowing of the blood vessels — the main cause of impaired blood flow.

This can make your feet cold and lose sensation. So, wear socks to keep your foot warm. The poor blood circulation problem can cause pain in the leg calves muscle when walking, called claudication.

Follow these simple tips to improve blood circulation and maintain a healthy blood flow.

  • Regular exercise will improve blood circulation throughout the legs and keep your foot healthy.
  • Choose proper shoes and footwear for your foot. Do not prefer footwear that rubs your feet.
  • Maintain blood glucose levels as Diabetes can affect the blood flow throughout the body, which also makes the healing process slow down.
  • Caring for your feet and checking them daily can help prevent problems before they worsen.  

How to prevent foot problems in patients with Diabetes?

When a person is affected with Diabetes, the patient should double-check certain things before doing them. Even a small injury can lead to major complications in future if left untreated.

The first thing a patient should do is keep their blood glucose levels in check. If you have high blood glucose levels, take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and pat them dry. Apply lotion to your feet to keep your feet moisturised. Also, do not apply lotion between your toes. This can make way for fungal infection.

Check for any wounds or sores on your feet. If you have any wounds, get them treated as early as possible.

When you sit for a long time, try to elevate your feet. Check for your toenails and trim them if they are long. Additionally, check if there is any change in colour or texture.

Choose the correct footwear. Shake or clean your shoes before wearing them. There might be stones, pebbles or small insects that can injure your feet.

Wash your socks daily and dry them under sunlight. Do not repeat the same socks for two days.

The most important is to stop the habit of smoking, as smoking can restrict your blood flow.

Certain activities like running barefoot should be avoided. This can injure your foot and lead to injury.

When to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if you have these symptoms.

  • A wound that does not heal.
  • Sharp pain in your legs.
  • Tingling sensation or loss of sensation.
  • Changed nail colour.


Diabetes foot care is very important to keep your feet free from any infection. If a person gets Diabetes, their wounds will not easily heal. In some cases, these unhealed wounds can be a medium for the growth of microorganisms.

Always remember to consult your doctor if you have any minor discomfort or loss of sensation. This can be a symptom of poor blood circulation. If they are treated early, major complications can be avoided.


Why is foot care important in diabetic patients?

High blood glucose levels can damage your nerves and lead to further complications.

Why are foot problems more severe with Diabetes?

There are chances for people with Diabetes to have poor blood circulation. Poor blood circulation can lead to dead tissues. So, people with Diabetes require extra care for their feet.

What is proper foot care for Diabetics?

1. Wash your feet with soap and lukewarm water. Pat them dry.
2. Apply moisturiser to your legs and feet.
3. Do not walk barefoot. Pebbles and stones can injure your feet.
4. Buy shoes that fit your legs properly.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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