Caring for your feet in Winter: 6-tips for Diabetics
As we’ve said before diabetic foot care is always important, but winter can make keeping your feet healthy an even bigger challenge. According to Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) Michael Shlonsky; "Winter moisture, cold, and dryness increase the risk of a diabetes foot problem". On average, 15-20% of people with diabetes will end up in hospital due to a foot ulcer or infection; making good footcare vital. These tips can help you care of your feet during these cold winter months!
"Anyone with diabetes needs to have a daily protocol for foot inspection," Dr Shlonsky advises. Look carefully at the ball of your foot, the heel, and any areas of your feet you’ve had issues with in the past, as well as between your toes. What are you looking for? “Any breaks in the skin, discharge, changes in colour, changes in odour, and painful corns or calluses, saysDr. Shlonsky. "Also inspect your socks for any stains and your shoes for any stones or rough edges." Remember, informed is armed, and you can’t do anything you don’t know about. If you find any of the above, a notice a change in foot health, anything different or unexpected, make sure you take it to your GP of Diabetes Educator.
2. Keep those feet moisturised!
3. Wear the right shoes and socks
For those of us with diabetes, cold and dampness combined with decreased circulation can increase your risk for developing a foot ulcer. You can learn more about foot ulcers and what you can do about them by clicking here, but the need-to-know is that they can be life-threatening and lead to lower limb amputation. Making sure shoes and socks provide warmth, keep out water, don’t rub your skin damagingly, and are roomy enough not to constrict blood flow to your feet. When looking at purchasing new shoes or socks, avoid materials that lock in moisture and don't forget about choosing the right socks. Glucology Diabetic Copper Based Winter Socks wick moisture away from the skin and have copper woven into the material utilising an awesome Australian-patented technology. These socks so efficacious that they have been approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association as a Class I Medical Device. They kill 99.9% of bacteria and fungi that cause odour, are hypoallergenic, actively draw water away from the skin and actually improve the appearance of skin.
4. Keep your feet as dry as possible
5. Trim your nails
Overly long or infected toenails can be are a real source of infections and ulcers. For people with touch or thick toenails, you can soak your feet first to soften the nails to make it easier. When you trim, always try to cut straight across. If trimming your nails is something you find tricky, get help! Don't be afraid to ask your Diabetes Educator or HCP for help or advice. Also be on the lookout for "Nails that are thick, crumbly, or discoloured" as these may need professional care.
6. Keep monitoring your blood sugar
All diabetics know the importance of keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels, and it is an important part of diabetic foot care. According to Dr Shlonsky, your feet are “one of the first places poor diabetic control will show up”. So remember to work with your doctor to control your sugar and be sure to watch your diet, maintain your weight, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. Your feet will thank you!
Our Services and Blog posts are NOT intended to substitute any professional medical advice or treatment and are offered for informational purposes only. Remember to always work with your doctor before changing anything about your medication or diabetes management. The above information is NOT medical advice.