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Holiday Feet

Holiday Feet
Diabetes information and advice

With graphic of a foot

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which may cause foot problems with some of these problems occurring because the nerves and blood vessels are damaged.

This can affect:

  • The circulation in your feet (ischaemia)
  • The feeling in your feet (peripheral neuropathy)

These changes can be very gradual and you may not notice them. This is why it is very important that you check your feet regularly, especially when on holiday as you may be more active than usual.

Foot ulcers are breaks in the skin that struggle to heal and the development of foot ulcers in people with diabetes may lead to serious complications which can lead to amputations of the foot or leg.

Controlling your diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, quitting smoking, increasing cardiovascular exercise and controlling weight helps to reduce the risk of these life and limb threatening problems.

See below for some advice on how to care for your feet whilst enjoying your holiday.

  • On the Journey

    Long journeys can make your feet swell, so, try to walk about every half hour if possible – even a short distance will help. This will keep the circulation moving and keep swelling down.

    Remember your feet may swell in heat, so make sure your shoes are not too tight.

  • Check Your Feet Every Day

    You should check your feet at least once a day for any blisters, breaks in the skin, pain or any signs of infection such as swelling, heat or redness, just as you would at home.

  • Wash Your Feet Every Day

    Wash your feet every day in warm water and with a mild soap, rinse them thoroughly and dry them carefully, especially between the toes.

    Do not soak your feet as this can damage your skin.

  • Moisturise Your Feet Every Day

    If your skin is dry, use a moisturising cream every day, avoiding the areas between your toes.

    You may need to apply extra moisturising cream if your skin gets very dry in hot or cold weather.

  • Toenails

    Carry on cutting your toenails as your podiatrist has advised you to.

  • Avoid Walking Barefoot

    Always wear footwear, even on the beach.

    The sand can become very warm and you may burn your feet without realising. If you go into the sea, wear some sort of footwear to protect your feet.

    Avoid wearing ‘flip-flop’ type footwear as this may cause blisters between your toes.

  • Prescription Shoes

    If you have been supplied with prescribed shoes, do not wear any other shoes during your holiday (except when you are in the sea).

  • Minor Cuts and Blisters

    Take a small first-aid kit containing sterile gauze dressings and micropore tape.

    If you get a small blister, cut or graze, clean the wound and tape on a dry sterile gauze dressing.

  • Medications and Prescriptions

    Make sure you pack medications you take regularly, including any antibiotics, dressings, insoles and footwear that have been prescribed and issued to you.

  • Avoid High or Low Temperatures

    Protect your feet from sunburn with a high factor sun protection cream (SPF factor 30 or above) or keep them covered.

    If you have any concerns or discover any problems with your feet, you may need to contact the local medical services for advice.

    Happy feet will help you to enjoy your holiday