Foot Care for Numb Feet

Updated: April 2021


When a foot stands on something sharp, nerves send messages from the feet to the brain and the brain sends messages back to move the foot away. Numb feet (peripheral neuropathy) is when nerves don't send messages to the brain. Feeling pain protects the feet from injury, numb feet increases the risk of injury. We call this change loss of protective sensation (LOPS).


Looking after numb feet:

This list may save your feet.

  • If you are unable to see or reach your feet, who can assist you with the following tasks?

  • Contact Inform Podiatry or your GP if your foot feels warmer than usual or if a blister, cut, scratch or ulcer has developed.

  • Perform a daily foot inspection of the entire surface of both feet (top, bottom, between toes and back of heel).

  •  Avoid walking barefoot, in socks without footwear, or in thin-soled slippers, whether at home or outside.

  • Do not wear shoes that are too tight, have rough edges or uneven seams (see example below).

  • Visually inspect and manually feel inside all shoes before you put them on.

  • Wear socks/stocking without seams (or with the seams inside out); do not wear tight or knee high
    socks (compressive stocking should only be prescribed in collaboration with a health professional), and change socks daily.

  • Wash feet daily (with water temperature always below 37°C), and dry them carefully, especially
    between the toes.

  • Do not use any kind of heater or a hot-water bottle to warm feet.

  • Do not use chemical agents or plasters to remove corns and calluses (eg corn pads, corn caps or carnation pads); see Inform Podiatry or your GP to manage these problems.

  • Use moisturising cream to soften dry skin, but not between the toes. Inform Podiatry recommends and sells Walker's Urea 15 foot lotion. Sorbolene cream is also good but creams with urea are better for dry, hard or cracked skin. 

  • Cut toenails straight across. (see example below)

  • Have your feet examined regularly by Inform Podiatry or your GP.

cut toenails.jpg
footwear fit.jpg


Inform Podiatry provides these webpages for general advice.  Please book an appointment at Inform Podiatry for individual assessment and treatment of your foot or lower leg condition.

Key words:

Loss of protective sensation | Numb feet | Peripheral neuropathy