The holiday season will soon be upon us and it will be easy to forget about taking care of our health, especially the state of our feet. This can be a particularly serious problem for those with diabetes.
In the season of festivities and celebrations, it is easy to indulge in food and drink, forgetting the all important diabetic diet. It’s essential for those with diabetes to remember to pay attention to their feet, no matter the season, to detect any potential problems.
During this busy time of year, we find ourselves walking more at the mall, dancing at parties, running extra errands — many times in dress shoes that aren’t worn very often. All these added activities can cause swelling and, in turn, friction between your feet and shoes. The friction can cause blisters, calluses or abrasions on your feet and can lead to diabetic ulcers and infection. This can be especially true if your body’s defences are down due to elevated blood sugar levels from overindulgence of holiday cheer. Infections can spread quickly and may require hospitalization and possibly amputation of the toe, foot or leg if not properly cared for early.
Even diabetics who follow recommended guidelines during the holidays can suffer from the complications of diabetes and are still at risk for wounds in the feet. For that reason, it is extremely important that all diabetics inspect their feet daily and look for the following warning signs:
- Ingrown toenails that cut into the skin and that can cause infections.
- Red, purple, gray or black areas on the feet that can be due to shoes that are too small, swollen feet, or fluid retention of the legs and feet.
- Blisters caused by rubbing from shoes or seams in socks.
- Calluses on the toes or bottom of the feet.
- Skin with signs of dryness or cracking.
- Sudden swelling and heat of one foot without obvious trauma.
Give yourself the greatest gift of foot health this holiday season — if you detect a wound or any other irritation, don’t delay. Make an appointment with our office as soon as possible.