Winter Foot Care For Diabetics: What You Should Know
When you suffer from diabetes, your blood sugar and insulin levels are not your only concern. In fact, diabetes can affect all systems and parts of your body. One area of the body that is very much affected by diabetes is the feet. If you do not take proper care of your feet when you are dealing with diabetes, you may find yourself dealing with chronic sores that do not heal, a lack of proper circulation, and even the possibility of foot or leg amputations. And, unfortunately, the winter can be one of the toughest seasons on your feet. Luckily, there are several ways that you can protect your diabetic feet during the winter months. All you need to do is learn those methods and get started right away.
Choose The Right Footwear
First and foremost, your best defense against damage to your feet in the winter is to select and wear the proper footwear at all times. The harsh, cold temperatures naturally cause your body to shift blood circulation to protect vital organs at the expense of extremities such as hands and feet.
As such, your feet are far more likely to suffer the ill-effects of cold weather, including frostbite and infection. However, with sufficiently warm and waterproof footwear, you will spare yourself these potentially life-threatening problems.
Look for winter boots that are waterproof and that extend up above your ankles to prevent snow from slipping in over the top. Make sure these boots are not too snug on your feet and ankles. Constricting your feet and ankles will only further reduce blood flow, causing you more problems than good.
Change Socks Frequently
During the cold winter months, you may find yourself tempted to just keep those warm, cozy socks on all day and night without once removing them. After all, exposing your bare feet to the air will only make them feel colder.
However, even when your feet feel cold inside your socks and shoes, they still sweat. Sweat building up in you socks can actually cause bacteria and fungus to grow and thrive on your feet, causing sores and infection.
So, when you get home and take your shoes off, remove those socks too. Allow your feet to air out and dry and then put on a new pair of clean, dry socks to keep your toes toasty and warm.
Inspect Your Feet Daily
When you are allowing your feet to air out and dry, either when changing your socks or after you take a hot shower, you should take the time to thoroughly inspect your feet.
Look for ingrown toenails, discolorations, calluses, and any sores or rashes. If you are suffering from any of these foot ailments, you should contact a podiatrist as soon as possible to have them looked at and treated. The sooner you discover any foot troubles, the quicker you can get them treated, preventing serious problems that could develop.
While the winter months can be tough on your feet, you can still keep them healthy and safe if you follow these simple guidelines. Your diabetes may make your foot health difficult to maintain, but making daily foot care a part of your regular routine will ensure proper foot health. For more information, contact a local clinic like Foundation Chiropody foot clinic.