5 Ways For Diabetics To Care For Their Feet In The Winter

January 31, 2014 |

Aside from the immediate effects of fluctuating blood sugar levels, diabetes can lead to other health complications. Dry and flaky skin is one very common problem faced by diabetics. This is especially true during the winter. Accompanying the dry skin are brittle toenails as well as skin that peels around the toenails. While superficially, these effects may leave the feet unattractive and can lead to discomfort, they are also an indicator of poor skin health.

However following these foot care measures can provide relief to diabetics living with dry feet during the winter months.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Is Important For Maintaining Healthy Feet

For a person with diabetes it is crucial to check blood sugar levels at regular intervals using a glucose meter. With this information, a person can beware of times when the blood sugar reading has dipped too low or been too high and can take steps to prevent it. Having this information also allows a person to be mindful of what food they are consuming and whether their lifestyle is really aiding in managing the blood sugar levels. For people who can keep their blood sugar under control, over dryness of the feet is much less common.

A Well-Maintained Diet Also Helps Diabetics Maintain Foot Health

For a person with diabetes, it is quite understandable to stay away from calorie laden foods, especially refined foods. That said, the chances are that a person may not be very happy about this change to their diet. However, such changes in diet do have more benefits than just maintaining healthy blood sugar levels given that consumption of sugar or food items made with white flour can lead to acute dryness of the skin and the early development of wrinkles. Hence, it is beneficial for a person to eat plenty of fruits like avocadoes, oranges, different kinds of berries as well as vegetables like spinach, broccoli, lettuce and beans. At the same time, adequate daily hydration is also beneficial whether this be from drinking water directly or eating foods with a lot of water in them.

Moisturing Is Important To The Feet Of Diabetics

The skin can be especially dry after a person has had a shower and for those suffering from diabetes, it can take even longer to restore the moisture levels of the skin. As a result, a good quality moisturizer applied to the feet at least two times per day is important for the health of the skin. That said, it is important to never use a face cream for the skin of the feet because the skin on our feet is harder and needs a much deeper moisturizer to permeate through it. Another way help protect the moisture levels of the skin is to avoid washing the feet in hot water beause hotter water helps in dehydrating the skin.

Ensure That the Skin On The Feet Is Kept Dry

While keeping the feet moisturized to prevent cracking and flaking skin is important, allowing the feet to be too wet can also lead to problems. Constantly wet feet are even more vulnerable to develop sores, ice blisters or fungal infections in between the toes. Not only can this lead to discomfort with constant itching, it also has the risk of developing into a open wound. For diabetics, wounds on the feet are problematic due to relatively poor circultion. By generally keeping the feet dry, the skin is protected from infections while also keeping the moisture levels balanced.

The Right Footwear Can Help Protect The Health Of The Skin On Our Feet

When the skin comes in contact with the dry air of winter, it tends to lose its moisture and turn dry even with efforts to moisturize it. Hence, opting for shoes that are comfortable to wear and that cover the entire foot can help to retain the moisture in the skin of the feet, in part due to natural perspiration. When it comes to shoes, we must also be careful to choose shoes that will not lead to blisters because these can lead to wounds on the toes and heals. For those with diabetes, the healing process can take longer than for people without the disease. Lastly, remembering to wear socks can also protect the feet since it reduces the chances of fungal infections.

Author Bio : Nelson Homes is a blogger for Hallandwrye. For more information visit Hallandwrye He likes to blog for beauty and skin care related topics. In his free time, he likes to research various cosmetic surgery procedures.

Related Links

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-5491.2002.00698.x/abstract;jsessionid=0A87A108145597D11A7B4EBF06EA8205.f01t03
http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2008/dec/how-do-i-fight-toenail-fungus.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15109042
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/5/606.short
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00148
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/3054365
http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=595682

Category: Disease Prevention

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