The weather is getting colder and if you have diabetes, it's time to start worrying about your feet. Cold weather can wreak havoc if you develop sores on your feet. The most important thing you can do is keep your feet warm and wear comfortable shoes. If you develop sores on your feet this winter, here are four steps that will help you avoid infections.
Increase Your Circulation
If you have a wound on your foot, you need to increase your circulation. Poor blood flow to your feet can slow down the healing process and increase your risk of infection. A good rule of thumb is to get up and take a short walk at least once every hour–even if it's just a walk around the house. It's also a good idea to wiggle your toes while you're sitting down. Also, avoid wearing socks that are too tight around the ankle. The tight fit can interfere with proper circulation and prevent blood from getting to your feet.
Cover the Wound
If you've been letting the wound air out, you're making the situation worse. Diabetic wounds do better when they're kept moist. While your wound is healing, apply a doctor-approved moisturizer to the area and keep it covered. Change the dressing twice a day to keep the wound clean and prevent infection. If you notice a foul odor or discharge coming from the wound, or it becomes swollen and painful, consult with your podiatrist right away.
Keep Yourself Healthy
If you haven't had your flu shot yet, it's time to take care of that. Your foot wound will have a much harder time healing if your body is also trying to fight off the flu. When your immune system is fighting multiple battles, it can't function properly. The flu shot will ward off illnesses that will prevent your foot wound from healing.
Visit Your Podiatrist
If you have an active diabetic wound on your foot, you need to keep in contact with your podiatrist. Diabetic foot wounds take longer to heal and can become infected quickly. Unfortunately, once a wound is infected, it can be difficult to treat. Routine visits to your podiatrist during the winter months will ensure you're getting proper wound care for your feet.
Don't take chances with your feet this winter. If you develop a wound, use the tips provided above to avoid infections and keep yourself and your feet healthy and comfortable.