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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > 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.
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
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 sores, 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
Moisture between your toes
Dry between your toes well. Moisture between
your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing
Feelings of numbness, burning, or "pins and
If you have new numbness or tingling in your
feet that does not go away after changing position, call your
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.
July 16, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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