Winter Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

At Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, we advise our diabetic patients to visit our podiatry office in Solon, Ohio at least once a year as part of an overall plan to keep their diabetes under control and their feet healthy. The danger that diabetes poses to your feet continues in every season, but winter presents some special challenges.

Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, our two expert podiatrists, offer these tips for keeping diabetic feet healthy in wintertime.

  1. Get the right shoes
    Since we live in Cuyahoga County, the right winter shoes means boots. There’s most likely going to be snow, sleet, and slush on the ground at any given moment, so you need boots that are not only warm but comfortable. Choose boots that have a wide toe box, fit snugly but not tightly, have good support, protect you from the frigid temperatures, and provide excellent traction.
  1. Keep your feet dry

The right boots will hopefully do the trick, but if you do find yourself with wet, cold feet, dry them out as quickly as possible. Bacteria like to hang out where it’s moist, and where there’s bacteria, there’s infection.

  1. Beware of heat

Don’t be tempted to dry those wet feet using a space heater or other source of direct heat. The diabetic foot is often terrible at sensing changes in temperature and you can burn your feet very easily. The same goes for trying to warm cold feet in hot water – don’t do it.

  1. Protect your skin from winter air

Winter air is often crisp and dry – and indoor heating exacerbates the dryness. Chapped, cracked skin opens the door to infections, so prevent it by moisturizing your feet daily to help keep skin smooth and intact.

  1. Act quickly if something is awry

Make a habit of inspecting your feet every day. If you notice a sore that’s not healing or any signs of infection such as red, hot skin or fungal problems, call our office without delay at (440) 903-1041. You can also contact us online.