Essential Cold Weather and Winter Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 30 Mar, 2017
02 Jan, 2016
Author/blogger Reggie Simpson

During winter, a special attention is needed to the feet for people with diabetes. Diabetic foot is one of the most common complications that occur in people suffering from diabetes. Diabetics often have a lower susceptibility to various changes in the body which is caused by nerve damage. This is why the changes that occur on the feet are sometimes noticed only when they become severe.

So, why exactly are there frequent changes in the feet? Disorders in the production of sweat and fat are detrimental to the skin, especially when walking, and lead to skin rupture and formation of wounds. Disorder in the immune system and damage to the blood vessels complicate the treatment and healing of these wounds which creates conditions for the development of a bacterial infection in the connective tissue, bones and muscles, and in the most severe cases, result in gangrene. Such serious consequences, as well as numerous other effects of diabetes, can be avoided by regular checkups. The following is a list of essential cold weather and winter foot care tips for diabetics that will help you keep your feet safe when the temperature is low.

Daily hygiene

Just like most people, many diabetics lower the intensity of taking care of their feet during cold weather. Diabetics naturally have cold feet (due to nerve damage), and that’s why some of them avoid washing legs on a daily basis, which is wrong. Daily care and washing your feet is critical. Use water that is heated to body temperature. After washing, wipe your feet thoroughly and apply a moisturiser. Make sure that there is no moisture left between the toes.

Don’t forget the nails

Nails on your feet should always be cut straight to avoid skin injury near the nail, and it would be wise to leave this task to a professional. Since this is not an activity that needs to be performed every day, try to find a day in a week when you will focus on your nails. Just because you are not wearing sandals, this doesn’t mean that you should forget about your nails. It is critical to use utensils and scissors that are yours.

Make sure that you are wearing the right boots

Diabetics, just like anyone else, start wearing boots when the temperatures drop. If you are in a process of buying boots, you should keep in mind that our feet tend to increase their size during the day (if we use our boots for four or more hours). So, make sure that you are wearing the correct size of boots.

Keep your feet warm and dry

It is imperative to keep your feet warm and dry during winter as the dampness can cause fungal and bacterial infection. Keep your feet dry thoroughly after exposure to wetness, especially the area between the toes as this is where the athlete's foot infection commonly develops.

Perform regular checkups

Since this is a period of the year when feet are prone to problems, it is a good idea to check them every day. Find out whether there are any traces of fungus, blisters, cuts, infections and other complications. Examine the feet thoroughly. Consult your doctor if you notice anything unusual.

Did you find these tips useful? Do you have any more to share? We would love to hear your thoughts in comments!

By Judith Sullivan 12 Jun, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 09 Jun, 2017
By Reggie Simpson published in large part in the summer edition of Tring Living
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