If you have diabetes, you already know vigilant foot care is essential. November is Diabetes Awareness Month and also kicks off the holiday travel season. For those reasons, Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM, of the Apple Podiatry Group, have put together guidelines on foot prep and care for diabetes patients on the go.
Preparing for travel
Whether you’re heading for snow-capped mountains or tropical beaches, before leaving home, we recommend you take some steps to ensure your feet don’t suffer while you’re away.
- Inspect your feet for any cuts, blisters, or sores, and address them with your podiatrist before traveling.
- Break in any new shoes in advance to avoid blisters.
- Keep your blood sugar levels in check before your trip.
- Stock up on your diabetes-related supplies, including medications and testing strips
If your plans involve air travel, pack diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag so they’re not lost or delayed.
Essentials to pack
Pack the following essentials:
- Comfortable socks moisture-wicking socks
- Orthotics or insoles, if prescribed
- A moisturizing foot cream to prevent dryness and cracking
- Bandages and antiseptic to treat minor cuts and scrapes promptly
- Glucometer and extra diabetes-related supplies in case of delays
Traveling to cold or warm climates requires specific steps.
Special considerations for cold climates
Cold temperatures can affect circulation, so dress warmly and in layers to maintain proper blood flow to your feet.
Insulate your feet by wearing thermal socks and waterproof, insulated boots. Also, be extra watchful in checking for signs of frostbite, such as numbness, tingling, or skin discoloration. If you notice these symptoms, seek warmth immediately.
Special considerations for warm climates
When traveling to sunny destinations, remember to apply sunscreen to your feet to protect against sunburn, especially if you plan on spending time at the beach or pool.
Stay Hydrated and choose breathable footwear or sandals to prevent excessive sweating, which can lead to fungal infections. Don’t go barefoot.
Inspect your feet regularly for insect bites or stings, which can become infected if not treated promptly.
Don't expose insulin and diabetes medications or test strips in direct sunlight or heat. Keep these necessities outside in a cooler, but don't put insulin directly on ice or a gel pack.
Traveling with diabetes requires careful planning but shouldn't deter you from exploring the world. For a pre-travel foot check and all of your foot care needs, contact the Apple Podiatry Group. We have four convenient locations in Arlington, Fort Worth, and Flower Mound, TX.
Contact our office closest to you by phone or online.