According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, a quarter of people with diabetes will experience foot-related problems – including neuropathy, sores, blisters and infections.

For many people currently living with diabetes, foot care is not a top priority. While it is easy to let issues like balancing blood sugar, monitoring insulin and trying to eat a nutritious diet take center stage, it is crucial for diabetics to place some focus on their feet.

According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, a quarter of people with diabetes will experience foot-related problems – including neuropathy, sores, blisters and wound infections. Neuropathy, which refers to nerve damage in the feet, is often the initial problem, explained Everyday Health. People with neuropathy are less able to detect pain or discomfort in their feet, which means they are more prone to physical injuries like burns and cuts. Even after receiving a diagnosis of neuropathy, there are many steps you can take to keep your feet healthy.

Here are a few important foot care tips all diabetics should know:

Check your feet consistently
Even if you feel like your diabetes is under control, the disease could be flaring up around your feet. Because of this, it is recommended that diabetics conduct foot checks at least once a day, according to the American Diabetes Association. Simply do a thorough scan of the top and bottom of your feet and in between your toes. If you notice cuts, swelling, blisters, redness or other abnormalities, contact your clinician.

Always keep your shoes on
Because diabetics face a bigger risk of foot injuries, they should think twice before going barefoot. The American Diabetes Association recommended always wearing comfortable socks and shoes to protect your feet and reduce your chances of developing a diabetic wound. Always check the inside of your footwear before putting it on to ensure that there are no irritants, like sharp edges or bits of debris, present.

Seek treatment immediately
Any issues you encounter with your feet, including those that are not linked to diabetes, should be brought to the attention of your clinician. Problems like hammertoes, calluses and bunions may seem totally benign, but they can cause friction in your footwear and potentially lead to more serious wounds. Everyday Health recommended that diabetics not use over-the-counter foot care products, as these can often make matters worse.

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