Almost 40 million Americans had diabetes in 2021 — that’s more than 10% of the population. Diabetes is a complex chronic condition that makes health care more complicated and interrupts many biological processes, including wound-healing.

The nerves in your feet may be affected as well, and the combination of poor wound healing and less feeling in your feet can be dangerous.

At Grand Central Podiatry, Dr. Ernest Levi and his team help diabetic patients understand how to take the best care of their feet. We provide exams and educate you about protecting your foot health, signs to watch for, and what you should do each day in order to keep your feet functioning properly and without pain.

Wound healing problems

Around 25% of people who have diabetes are affected by foot wounds. One reason diabetic wounds are problematic is that having high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, which means that your blood doesn’t flow as well as it should to areas that need to heal.

Your blood carries nutrients necessary for healing. Because your feet are located so far from your heart, blood flow to them can be even more limited than to other parts of your body. With diabetes, wounds on your feet may be especially slow to heal and prone to infection.

Another problem is that sometimes diabetes damages your nerves, which can make it difficult to even know that you have a wound. Additionally, people with diabetes tend to experience much more inflammation than people who don’t have the condition, which makes infection a greater risk.

Caring for diabetic feet

You understand the importance of diabetic wound and foot care, and you may be thinking, “I have diabetes, but my feet are fine. No need for me to worry.” That’s great! However, it can also change surprisingly quickly.

Developing a daily routine dedicated to caring for your feet can keep you from complications that become painful, expensive, and debilitating. Here are some suggestions:


Visually check your feet each day. If you have nerve damage — and you may not even be aware of it — you might not feel pain from a small cut, blister, or bruise on your feet. Look for redness, swelling, corns, calluses, or other minor wounds. You may need to use a mirror to get a good look at every part of both feet. Wash

Use warm water to gently wash your feet each day. You don’t want to soak them; just use mild soap and warm water to get your feet clean.


After washing your feet, dry them thoroughly, particularly between your toes. Dampness can cause serious problems.

If you work out and your socks are sweaty afterward, be sure to dry your feet and put on dry socks, too.


When your feet are dry and clean, apply moisturizing lotion to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Avoid rubbing lotion between your toes as that can raise your risk of infection.


You should always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even when inside. Wearing proper footwear provides protection for your feet and can prevent injury. You should also make a habit of making sure there’s nothing inside your shoe and smoothing the lining down before you put it on.

Regular podiatry visits

When you have diabetes, you need to have a podiatrist on your care team. Dr. Levi wants diabetic patients to come in for at least annual visits; in some cases, more frequent visits are appropriate.

If you develop issues like a bunion or callus, or you have a cut on your feet, schedule an appointment at Grand Central Podiatry right away. We’re always happy to see you and to help you keep your feet healthy.

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