For people with health issues like diabetes, foot health is especially important when the weather turns cold, as the disease can affect your body’s circulation even more so during the winter months. People with diabetes should keep these tips in mind:
- You probably wouldn’t dream of going barefoot outside in the winter, but you shouldn’t do it inside, either. Always wear shoes and socks when walking outside, and at least wear socks inside. They afford a needed layer of warmth and protection.
- Stay active. Physical activity aids circulation, which is critical for people with diabetes. Don’t let the cold weather be your excuse for becoming — or staying — sedentary. Get regular exercise, and don’t be afraid to do it outdoors. Just remember to properly protect your feet from moisture and cold while you’re outside.
- Wash and inspect your feet daily. Perform your self-exam at the same time every day and watch for changes in skin color, sores, swelling, blisters, peeling, cracking, or other signs of a problem. When you have diabetes, even a minor wound can become a problem, so don’t wait to see a podiatrist if you develop an injury that’s not healing.
Source: APMA Footprints, Winter 2014