Going on holiday can cause foot problems, so follow these simple precautions to ensure a trouble-free time.
Long journeys on trains, buses and planes can make your feet swell. Walk up and down the aisle every half hour - the exercise will help keep the swelling down. Make sure your shoes don't become too tight.
If you normally wear hospital supplied shoes, wear them on holiday too. Remember that changing over to ordinary shoes could cause an ulcer - and ruin your holiday.
Avoid walking barefoot. On the beach, and in the sea, wear plastic sandals.
Avoid sunburn to your feet and legs. Use a sun screen with a high protection factor - or keep covered.
If your skin gets very dry in the hot weather, you may need to apply more moisturising cream than usual. Pay special attention to your heels - dry skin here cracks easily.
Take small sterile dressings, antiseptic and adhesive tape on holiday. Clean any small blisters, cuts or grazes thoroughly then apply a sterile dressing.
Examine your feet daily for sores, swelling and colour changes. If any of these problems develop, then visit the local state registered podiatrist or doctor.
Remember: delays in seeking treatment may make foot problems worse. Seek early treatment for all holiday foot problems.
Diabetes can have an effect on the blood and nerve supply, which can lead to complications in the leg and foot. This can slow down the healing process in the body and reduce the sensation to pain, temperature and pressure. Not everyone will develop these problems, but ALL people with diabetes should follow the same rules of foot care to prevent problems developing.
Maintaining good blood sugar and weight control is very important, as is avoiding smoking.
Your Annual Foot Check
As part of your ongoing diabetes care you will receive a formal check of your feet at least once a year. This includes checking the pulses and feeling in your feet. This will be undertaken by whoever is providing your diabetes care and may be a doctor, nurse or podiatrist. This will allow them to calculate your risk of developing a foot ulcer in the future which could be low, medium or high. You can ask your GP, nurse or podiatrist to tell you what your risk score is and they will provide you with a leaflet specially written for that risk category.
Inspect Your Feet Daily
• Look especially in between your toes and around your heels.
• If you cannot bend over, ask a friend or relative to help, or put a mirror on the ground.
• Be aware of any blisters, breaks in the skin, pain or any signs of infection such as swelling, heat or redness.
Tell your Diabetes team or Podiatrist about any changes in your feet.