Why should diabetics not put lotion between their toes?

Why Should Diabetics Not Put Lotion Between Their Toes?

Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects the way your body handles blood sugar. If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to many complications, such as nerve damage, poor circulation and slow healing of wounds. One of the complications that diabetics may face is a condition called diabetic neuropathy, which affects the nerves, causing tingling, numbness and burning sensations in the feet and toes. This can cause lack of sensation or altered sensation in the feet and toes. Therefore, diabetics need to be careful about taking care of their feet.

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can affect diabetics over time. It is caused by high blood sugar levels, which can damage the nerves throughout the body. The feet are particularly susceptible to diabetic neuropathy, as they are farthest from the heart and the blood supply, making it difficult for them to receive proper blood flow and oxygen. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to numbness or tingling sensations in the feet, which can mask other symptoms of foot problems, such as blisters or cuts.

Why is Lotion Between Toes a Problem?

Diabetics often face dry skin on their feet due to neuropathy, which can cause the skin to crack or peel. When skin becomes dry and cracked, it can be prone to infection. Lotion can be a great way to moisturize the skin and prevent dryness. However, it is important for diabetics to avoid putting lotion between their toes. This is because moisture between the toes can create a moist environment that is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, causing infection. Diabetics are more prone to infections and it can be challenging to detect and treat them, which can result in serious consequences if not addressed promptly.

What Can Diabetics Do to Prevent Complications?

Diabetics need to take extra care to prevent foot complications, including diabetic ulcers, infections and neuropathy. The following tips can help prevent complications:

  • Inspect your feet daily: Check your feet every day for any cuts, blisters or redness. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help
  • Wash your feet: Wash your feet with warm water and mild soap. Avoid soaking your feet as it can dry out the skin
  • Dry your feet: Pat your feet dry with a soft towel, especially between the toes to prevent moisture accumulation. If necessary, use a hairdryer set on low temperature to remove moisture from the toes
  • Moisturize your feet: Moisturize your feet but avoid putting lotion between the toes
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks: Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose. Choose socks made of breathable material such as cotton or wool
  • Manage your blood sugar: Keep your blood sugar levels within a recommended range to prevent nerve damage and other complications
  • Visit a foot specialist: Get your feet checked regularly by a foot specialist. If you notice any problems, such as blisters or redness, see a foot specialist immediately


Diabetics need to take special care of their feet to prevent complications. Avoiding putting lotion between toes is one of the precautions that can be taken to prevent infections. It is important to inspect your feet daily, wash and dry your feet properly, and wear comfortable shoes and socks. Managing your blood sugar and visiting a foot specialist regularly can help prevent complications from diabetic neuropathy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: Can diabetics put lotion on their feet?
  • A: Yes, diabetics are encouraged to moisturize their feet to prevent dryness but they should avoid putting lotion between the toes as it can create a moist environment that can lead to infection.
  • Q: Can diabetics wear sandals or flip flops?
  • A: It is not recommended for diabetics to wear sandals or flip flops as they do not provide adequate support and can expose the feet to the risk of injury. Diabetics should wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes and socks made of breathable materials.
  • Q: Is it normal to have numbness in the feet for diabetics?
  • A: No, numbness or tingling in the feet can be a sign of diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious complication. It is important to see a doctor if you experience any abnormal sensations in your feet.


1. American Diabetes Association. Foot complications. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/foot-complications

2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Neuropathy.