Image via WikipediaPatients who suffer Type I or Type II Diabetes are at greater risk during the cold winter months. This is because they deal with the loss of feeling in their feet, as a result of nerve damage. Therefore, it is necessary that Diabetic patients use extra care to avoid lengthy exposure to the elements, especially during the winter months. Excessive exposure could cause frostbite, damaging skin and other cells.
When it is necessary to be outside, try to plan ahead. A common sense approach and a few items can be very helpful. Move around to stimulate circulation. Take more regular breaks to get inside out of the cold. Make sure your foot wear fits appropriately, is non-restrictive and allows enough room for an extra pair of socks. Keep an extra pair or two of warm, dry socks with you, in case your feet get damp or perspire. Make sure your outer footwear is waterproof, and replace inadequate shoes and boots as soon as possible. If you travel, allow for periodic rest stops to get out and get moving. This will allow for better circulation. Also, it is a good plan to pack along a blanket. Keep the blanket in the automobile passenger compartment with you, not in the trunk.
If you suspect that prolonged exposure to cold, snow, wind or sleet may have caused skin damage or frostbite, use caution and warm up slowly. The affected area should not be rubbed or massaged. This could cause further damage. Instead, wrap in a blanket and allow for gradual re-warming, allowing circulation to slowly improve.
If you are Diabetic and suspect over-exposure, it is recommended that you seek the advice of your foot-care specialist. The freezing of the skin or other tissue could have serious health consequences. Your doctor can advise you.