Wintertime brings with it a list of special cold weather issues for people with diabetes. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, has a few tips to help those with diabetes keep their feet healthy all winter long.
Decreased circulation and numbness are issues that can affect diabetics year-round, but they can pose more of a problem during the winter months when keeping your feet at the right temperature is crucial.
Many people with diabetes lose sensation in their feet. It is vital to examine feet daily for ulcerations, signs of infection, and sores. This is especially true in the cold, because people may not realize when their feet are too cold or too hot.
The Right Socks: Diabetics need to wear breathable socks to keep their feet dry and warm. The best choice is wool or moisture-wicking socks that control foot sweat that may create an extra chill.
Proper Footwear: Wear boots and shoes that offer dryness, warmth, and protection in snow, sleet, ice, and rain. The footwear should provide sufficient support and cushioning, yet still be roomy enough so that feet receive adequate blood flow.
Remove Wet Shoes and Socks Immediately: If your shoes or socks get wet, thoroughly dry them by placing them safely beside a heater and wear a different, dry pair the next day to be sure.
Use Caution When Warming: In some cases, people with diabetes who suffer from neuropathy, are unable to feel temperature, so be careful when using warming devices like electric blankets and heating pads.
Test Water Temperature: People with diabetes should never use their feet to test water temperature; it’s better to use a thermometer - or even an elbow - to check it.
Use Foot Creams That Hydrate: Diabetics should use super hydrating foot creams in the winter months to avoid cracks, corns, and calluses that could lead to infections.
Engage In Light Exercise: Sitting around can lead to increased swelling of the ankles and feet. If a diabetic patient spends a lot of time indoors, they should participate in a few basic leg exercises to keep the blood from gathering.
In addition to these winter foot care tips, patients with diabetes should follow a daily foot care routine that includes examining the feet, properly trimming the toenails, keeping feet washed and dried, and controlling blood sugar and glucose levels.
If you have diabetes, and you’d like to discuss a daily foot plan for your personal needs, please contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.