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 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 


‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher


September is World Alzheimer’s Month.

 

 

 

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