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Three Simple Questions

There’s a lot to think about if you have diabetes. Between watching what you eat and monitoring your blood glucose levels, you may not be thinking about the condition of your feet.

Having dry skin on your feet may appear insignificant; however if left untreated can lead to more serious problems such as infection, callus, and foot ulcers. In the worst case, this can even result in amputation.

Although this may seem frightening, you can help avoid these problems by starting a simple, daily foot care routine today.

Implementing these simple steps, along with a regular check-in with your GP, nurse or podiatrist, can help you take control of your diabetes foot health. Start your new routine here.

People living with diabetes are at greater risk of developing foot problems.1

Your Simple Steps

There are just three simple steps towards achieving better foot health and your own peace of mind.

CHECK YOUR FEET every day for any changes, including broken skin. Use a mirror if necessary to check the soles. Make sure you speak to your GP, podiatrist or nurse if you have any concerns at all.

WASH AND DRY your feet daily, paying particular attention to the space between your toes.

APPLY A UREA BASED CREAM such as Flexitol, to feet once daily. Creams with urea are important as they can:

  • Quickly improve skin dryness
  • Maintain skin flexibility to help treat cracks and dry feet
  • Reduce the build-up of thick skin and callus (which are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction)
  • Improve the skin’s ability to be hydrated and stay hydrated

Only 1 in 5 people living with diabetes check their feet every day.2

Check in with your healthcare professional

You should have your feet checked by a healthcare professional at least annually, or more often if your foot health changes.

Contact your GP, podiatrist or nurse immediately if you notice heat, change in colour or swelling of your feet, as these can indicate infection which is very serious.

If you’ve been identified as being at moderate risk you should see your doctor, nurse or podiatrist every 3-6 months.

If you’ve been identified as being at high risk you should see your doctor, nurse or podiatrist every 2-8 weeks.

4 out of 5 people living with diabetes would check their feet every day if they had a simple daily foot care routine and advice from a healthcare professional on how and why to check their feet.2

Download our leaflet for advice on your foot care routine

Download our leaflet for advice on your foot care routine

Download PDF
Advice from expert podiatrist Donna Welch

Advice from expert podiatrist Donna Welch

Download PDF

If you want further specialist information and advice on all aspects of living with diabetes or if you just want to talk to someone who knows about diabetes, get in touch with Diabetes UK
Helpline:

Call: 0345 123 2399*, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Email: helpline@diabetes.org.uk

If you’re in Scotland:

Call: 0141 212 8710*, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

Email: helpline.scotland@diabetes.org.uk

*Calls to 0345 numbers cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes on mobile phones and discount schemes. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 2p and 10p per minute while calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles to 0345 numbers are included in free call packages. Calls may be recorded for quality and training purposes.


References

  1. Diabetes UK. Diabetes and foot problems. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/feet. Last accessed: November 2018.
  2. Results from an attitudinal survey of 1,000 people with diabetes, May 2018. Conducted by 3GEM Research & Insights alongside Thornton & Ross.
  3. NHS.UK. Corns and calluses https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/feet. Last accessed: November 2018.