Baby, it’s cold outside! Cold temps can pose a challenge to anyone’s feet. But the cold, hard truth is that diabetics must pay special attention. At Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, we’d like to remind our diabetic patients that protecting your feet is more urgent than it is for most people. And that includes protection from the ravages of winter.
Here are some cold-weather truths about caring for the diabetic foot from our expert podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann:
1.Wetness is the enemy.
Slogging through Cuyahoga County snow and slush requires waterproof boots. If you haven’t got those and you find yourself with damp or wet socks, dry them as soon as possible. Wet feet are a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria.
2. Seeking warmth can become a hot mess.
Be careful when deliberately warming your feet with an electric blanket, by a fire, next to a space heater, or in a hot bath. If nerve damage has compromised the feeling in your feet, you could easily get some serious burns.
3. There’s nothing funny about your feet cracking up.
Diabetic feet can lack natural moisture. Indoor heat can dry them up even further. Examine your feet for cracks. Better yet, avoid getting them in the first place: keep your skin smooth and supple by using a daily moisturizer.
4. Shoes matter.
Protecting your feet becomes even more important during cold, wet weather. Continue to wear well-fitting, supportive shoes. Waterproof boots (see #1, above) should have thick, rugged soles for best traction.
5. Your podiatrists miss you when you avoid them.
For an even better chance of preventing a cold-weather foot problem from getting worse, make and keep your regular appointments with us at our state-of-the-art podiatry office in Solon, Ohio.
Diabetics, we hope you know the drill. Your feet are prone to nerve damage and circulation problems, both of which may make it difficult for you to notice cracks, burns, redness, irritation and other potential problems. Taking these 5 truths to heart will help keep your diabetic feet safe this winter. If you have any issues, call us right away at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online for an appointment.