What can you do about diabetic foot problems?

We have put together a list of the main tips for preventing chronic wounds due to diabetic foot problems.

Table: Things that can help to prevent diabetic foot ulcers
Regular medical check-ups Doctor icon
Every 1 to 6 months, depending on how severe your foot problems are.
Well-fitting shoes Shoe icon
Your shoes must not be too tight. You should be able to move your toes. The insole should be soft. Custom orthopedic shoes can be a good idea.
Do not walk barefoot Barefoot icon
You could injure yourself. Only shoes offer enough protection.
Examine your feet Foot and magnifying glass icon
Check your feet for sore areas or injuries every day.
Examine your shoes
Regularly check that there are no stones or other objects in your shoes, and remove them if there are.
Wash your feet Washing feet icon
Clean your feet with lukewarm water every day and dry them well. Do not have hot foot baths (danger of scalding).
Moisturize your feet Applying cream icon
...every day with a moisturizing cream or products containing urea (5 to 10%).
File your toenails down straight Nail file icon
This prevents ingrown toenails. Do not use nail scissors (risk of injury).
Medical foot care Foot care icon
Covered by statutory health insurers if you have an increased risk of chronic wounds (in Germany).
Use medication correctly Medication plan icon
Use blood-sugar-lowering drugs or other medications as prescribed by your doctor.

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.

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Please note that we do not provide individual advice on matters of health. You can read about where to find help and support in Germany in our information “How can I find self-help groups and information centers?

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Updated on December 18, 2023

Next planned update: 2026


Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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