Diabetic foot care is important at any time of year, but winter brings with it threats decreased circulation and numbness. Because November is Diabetes Awareness Month, today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is spreading awareness by sharing some information regarding diabetic foot care in winter.
Winter cold, moisture, and dryness elevate the risk of diabetic foot issues. About 15 to 20 percent of diabetics seek treatment at a hospital because of an infection or foot ulcer, which leads to amputation in some cases.
These tips can help you care for your diabetic feet this winter:
- Examine all the pressure points on your feet and in between your toes. Keep an eye out for discharge, changes in color or odor, painful corns or calluses, or breaks in the skin.
Make moisturizing a must
- Poor circulation and nerve damage from diabetes can affect the moisturizing glands of your feet. Dry winter heat can worsen the dryness, so moisturize daily.
Proper footwear is key.
- If you are diabetic, winter cold combined with diminished circulation can elevate your risk for developing a foot ulcer. Ensure that your winter footwear provides warmth, protection from the elements, and sufficient padding. Diabetic footwear is a great choice.
Free your feet from moisture.
- Icy puddles or snow can lead to hazardously damp feet that can invite unwanted bacteria. When your feet get wet, dry them completely, including between your toes, and change out of your wet socks and shoes.
Trim your toenails with care.
- Infected toenails or untrimmed toenails frequently cause ulcers and infections. Trim them correctly, which is straight across and not too short. If you have difficulty trimming them, get professional help from your podiatrist.
Don’t turn up the heat on your feet.
- Always be careful when using hot soaks, heating pads, or electric blankets. And always check the water temperature before you stick your feet in.
Control your glucose levels.
- Regulating your blood sugar is an important part of diabetic foot care. Your feet are one of the first places poor diabetic control appears. Work with your doctor to control your blood sugar.
If you are living with diabetes and haven’t seen a podiatrist in some time, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.