Toes with green nail polish in soapy bath water with text "Are Foot Soaks Healthy for Diabetics?"

Who doesn’t like to indulge in a soothing foot bath to clean, relax, and soften toes and soles? Everyone knows soaking the feet can do wonders for removing corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails; the very things that a diabetic is supposed to keep an eye on. The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes should avoid foot soaks. But what are the risks involved with foot soaking?

People with diabetes often have dry feet, and soaking their feet might open small cracks that could be present in the skin, allowing germs to enter. People who experience diabetic neuropathy may be unable to feel pain, heat or cold in their legs and feet, so test water temperatures with hands before placing the feet into a foot bath to avoid burns.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends using a pumice stone or emery board to file away the thickened skin, corns, and calluses. They also suggest moisturizing feet with an oil-based ointment each morning and again before bed. When washing, be sure to dry feet and between toes thoroughly. Use water and a gentle non-fragrant soap.

People with diabetes should ask a health care professional to show them how to care for their feet.


Wu, B. (2019, March 21). Can People with Diabetes Use Epsom Salts? Retrieved from:

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