The most important thing you can do for yourself is inspect your feet every day. If you cannot see well, ask someone to check your feet for you. Minor irritations may be discovered early and prevented from becoming serious infections.
Wash your feet daily with a mild soap. Use warm, never hot water. Do not test the water temperature with your feet. In the presence of a diabetic neuropathy, the water may not feel as hot to your feet as it really is.
Use an emollient to keep the skin soft and prevent dryness and cracking. Aquaphor, urea creams, Ammonium Lactate, lanolin all work very well.
Cut nails straight across using a clipper not scissors. File the edges to prevent irritation of the adjacent toes. If the nails are thickened and you have difficulty cutting them, see a podiatrist or your family doctor. Never use over-the-counter medicines designed to remove ingrown nails. These contain acid and may cause a skin burn and infection.
Corns and Callus
These are caused by pressure and are the most common source of foot ulcers and infections. Since the pain they usually cause is markedly diminished by neuropathy, you have to look for them and have them treated before they can cause pain and problems.
Cuts and Abrasions
Keep the wound cleaned and as free from pressure as possible. Watch the wound gently with antiseptic soap. Examine the wound for foreign matter. Cover the area with a light, sterile dressing. If healing does not progress rapidly or if there is redness, swelling or drainage, call a doctor. If you have a fever or chills, that is a medical emergency, go to the E.R.