Christmas is coming which, besides Santa, hearkens the arrival Old Man Winter. Winter can be especially hard on the feet of people with diabetes. So, if you want to stay on the right side of your Chiropodist’s naughty and nice list, here are four tips for people with diabetes to help keep their feet healthy for the winter season.
- Moisturize. Diabetics are already prone to dry skin, and the low humidity of our northern winter climate makes the problem worse. Dry skin cracks easily, which can lead to skin ulceration or serious infections. Your Chiropodist can provide a proper moisturizer meant for the thick skin of your feet, regular wax bath therapy, and other treatments to combat the problem.
- Proper winter footwear is essential. It needs to fit correctly, be in good repair, and be suited to your foot type. Poor footwear creates friction points that can lead to skin breakdown and ulcers for people with diabetes. It’s best to shop for your winter boots (or any footwear) later in the afternoon, since your feet swell during the day. If you wear orthotics, be sure to bring them with you for sizing. Your Chiropodist can provide unbiased advice and a prescription to help you shop for what will be best for you.
- Remember the “wear” part of “winter footwear!” Those fantastic winter boots do you no good if they’re not on your feet. Many people with diabetes suffer from a lack of feeling called neuropathy. This puts them at real danger of frost-bite that can happen without them even knowing it. Also, neuropathy can make people more prone to falling. The warmth and extra traction of winter footwear helps guard against both of these concerns.
- Just as in any season, regular visits to their Chiropodist are essential for people with diabetes to maintain good foot health and to keep their feet merry all year long.
Web Feet is a quarterly blog posted by Registered Chiropodist David Murphy. Dave has ten years’ experience in his field and works at Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre’s main clinic in Bobcaygeon, Ontario as well as the practice’s sites at Lakefield Physiotherapy & Foot Health Clinic and the Curve Lake First Nation Health Centre.
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