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Diabetes: Checking Your Feet
When you have diabetes, you need to examine your feet every day. Look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. Use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. If you can't see well, have someone else use this checklist to examine your feet for you.
Using this checklist helps you remember to examine all areas of your feet.
Check your feet for:
What to do if you notice a problem
Patches where hair is missing
Bald patches may mean irritation from shoes or a blood flow problem. Show the areas to your doctor during your next visit.
Break in your skin
Note: Examine the underside of your toes and the area between the toes for breaks in the skin.
Calluses (hardened areas of skin) and corns (pressure injuries, usually found on or between toes)
Show the area to your doctor at your next visit. This is very important.
Peeling skin or tiny blisters between your toes or cracking and oozing of the skin
This may be athlete's foot. Treating athlete's foot early can prevent serious foot infections. See the topic Athlete's Foot for more information.
Moisture between your toes
Dry between your toes well. Moisture between your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing infection.
Feelings of numbness, burning, or "pins and needles"
If you have new numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away after changing position, call your doctor.
Do not try to treat a foot ulcer at home. Call your doctor immediately. If you check your feet regularly, you usually will see a problem before it becomes an ulcer.
Do not treat an ingrown toenail at home. Call your doctor for an appointment.
Current as of: July 28, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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