by Paula Gingles, AGNP

Over time, diabetes can lead to various complications. Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes that can turn into a serious health issue and become life-threatening if not addressed promptly. In a person with diabetes, these ulcers can start as small cuts, sores, or blisters on the feet that go unnoticed or untreated. In general, you can lower your risk of all diabetes related complications by keeping blood sugars well controlled and quitting smoking. You can further lower risk of developing foot ulcers by incorporating good foot care. Here are the do’s and don’ts of good foot care.


  • Use care when trimming toenails. Your health care provider may even recommend toenails be trimmed by a foot doctor (Podiatrist).
  • Test water before stepping into a bath. Make sure it is not too hot.
  • Wash in lukewarm water, dry feet thoroughly, pay special attention to skin between the toes.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to feet after washing and drying.
  • Check feet daily for skin breaks, blisters, swelling, or redness. Have someone else check your feet if you can not. Notify your health care provider of any changes.


  • Walk barefoot, even at home, because you could step on something that causes a break in your skin without realizing it.
  • Walk barefoot on hot decks or hot sand because it could cause your skin to burn and may go unnoticed.
  • Wear shoes that are too tight or too loose. Poorly fitting shoes can cause blisters.
  • Cut toenails too short.