Winter can be dangerous for your feet if you’re living with diabetes. Colder temperatures mixed with poor blood circulation and possible nerve damage in your extremities make your feet vulnerable to serious complications or infection. To keep your feet healthy and safe this winter, take these precautions.
Watch Out for Snow
Moisture that collects on your socks and in between your toes can form bacteria and lead to infection. If you walk in heavy snow or slush, be sure to change out of your wet socks as soon as possible and towel dry your feet paying close attention to in between your toes.
Use a daily moisturizer to avoid dry feet and to keep your skin from itching or cracking.
Avoid Direct Heat
Keep your feet away from direct heat. Normal winter activities like warming your feet by a fire or cranking up the foot heater in your car can
pose problems. The numbness caused by nerve damage can make it impossible to feel the heat on your feet and could lead to second- or third degree burns. It’s best to keep your feet away from direct heat and to avoid warming aids such as electric blankets, heated shoe inserts or heating pads and to keep your feet out of hot water. To make sure, test your bath water with your hand or a thermometer first to make sure it’s safe for your feet.
Wearing well-fitting shoes with supportive soles and a roomy toe box to reduce cramping. Keep in mind how different sock textures will affect the wear and walking conditions during the winter months.
Be sure to contact our office to regularly schedule foot exams as they can help spot any diabetes-related foot issues early and avoid further
For more diabetic foot care tips, check out the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons patient education video Foot Care for Those Living with Diabetes at FootHealthFacts.org/Video/diabetic-foot-care.