Living with Diabetes: Winter Foot Care

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The dipping evening temperatures seem to signify that we are now in the colder winter months. For diabetics, this means that they need to pay a bit more attention to their feet, as there are increased risks for injuries and other diabetes-related foot problems. 

Keep up with your medications, healthy diet, and exercise regimens.   

  • Do your best to keep your blood sugar levels regulated with a healthy diet and/or medications.
  • While it is tempting to stay warm and cozy under a warm blanket inside the house, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get in some physical activity. You can do some walking in place, yoga, and even dance exercise at home.
  • Thinking of braving the cold? Be sure to dress warmly, including warm socks and shoes to prevent any chance of frostbite. If you will be going outside at night, please wear reflective clothing and go with a partner.

Use assistive devices.

  • Wear proper footwear. When going outside, don’t forget any orthotic inserts, as they will provide another layer of protection from the cold and from injury.
  • Use a thermometer when getting into a warm bath. If you are not sure if the water is too hot, it’s better to check the temperature than it is to risk burning your skin.

Tips to keep your feet warm:

  • Both indoors and outdoors, check in on your feet by feeling them to make sure they do not feel too cold. If you are indoors and they feel cold, double up on socks or add slippers. If you go outdoors, you may need to wear thicker socks to begin with.
  • Do you have a heating pad or fireplace to warm you up? Be careful not to burn your feet, especially if you have lost feeling in them due to diabetic neuropathy!
  • Wash your feet each night with soap and warm water. After they are thoroughly dry, warm up your hands and apply lotion to your feet to keep them moisturized. Use this opportunity to give a foot massage to increase circulation and warm up your feet.

Are your feet becoming dry or feeling cold, even with socks on? Make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our foot doctors, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your feet and ankles to keep them healthy during the winter months.