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Foot care for a child with diabetes

Patient information for parents or carers of a child with Diabetes or for young people with Diabetes

It is important to look after your feet when you have (or your child has) diabetes.

As you are young, it is unlikely that there are any problems with your feet at the moment.

However, as you get older the likelihood of diabetes complications in the future increases, and your feet can be affected – so it’s a good idea to get into good habits now.
Skin infections are also more common in people with diabetes.

Looking after your feet

  • You should cut your toenails straight across and keep them the same length as your toes. This will help to prevent them in-growing.
  • Make sure your shoes fit correctly and don’t rub.
  • Never go bare foot
  • Dry in between your toes after swimming, shower etc.
  • If your feet get wet change into dry socks and shoes as soon as possible.
  • Use a foot file to remove hard skin.
  • Apply heel balm to soften hard skin but NOT between toes.

Athletes’ foot

is very common – very itchy, sore, flaky skin. You can use athletes’ foot cream from the chemist and keep up treatment for at least 2 weeks after the symptoms have cleared. See your GP if symptoms persist.


You can usually use verruca treatments from the chemist, even though they may advise not to use them if you have diabetes. They are safe to use if you do not have diabetic complications that affect the circulation or sensation in your feet.

Alternatively you can;

  • Go to the wart clinic at your GP surgery.
  • See a podiatrist. You can be referred either by your GP or another health care professional, or
  • Phone 0844 2252 413 for information and to make an appointment yourself.
  • If you get corns, ask to be referred to a podiatrist.