Winter Foot Care
Although our feet may be well wrapped up, winter foot care is just as important as it is in summer. When feet are hidden away inside shoes and socks problems can develop unseen if you don’t have a good foot care regime in place. A few sensible precautions and a little time spent on your feet each week can prevent problems and injuries.
1 – Keep your feet warm, appropriate shoes and cosy socks preferably of natural materials are best. This is particularly important if you suffer from Diabetes as you are less likely to be aware of cold feet which can cause long term problems.
2 – Wear shoes appropriate to the weather – if it is treacherous underfoot make sure you have plenty of ankle support and a good grip to the surface.
3 – Check that your socks are not too tight around your leg – this will impede circulation and make it harder to keep your feet warm.
4 – You should always make sure your footwear fits properly but this is especially important in winter. Poorly fitting shoes, either too large or too small, can cause your feet to become cold and numb so you won’t be able to feel exactly where you are walking as well as you should. This can be particularly dangerous in wet and slippery conditions.
5 – If your shoes and socks get wet, take them off as soon as possible or your feet may become chapped and chilled. Make sure the shoes are completely dry before you wear them again.
6 – If you feet get too warm and a little sweaty, make sure you wash and dry them properly, also make sure your shoes dry out properly, damp footwear is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungal infections.
7 – If you take part in winter sports make sure you have appropriate footwear, a poorly fitting ski boot can cause serious accidents.
8 – Moisturising your feet feet is just as important in winter as it is in summer, regular massage will help improve circulation if you have cold feet so there is a two fold benefit. Ideally use a good hydrating foot cream to prevent any drying or cracking.
9 – Toe nails need to be cleaned just like fingernails – it can be easier to use a dedicated toothbrush as the long handle makes it easier to reach and manoeuvre.
10 – If you regularly varnish your toe nails, winter is a good time to give them a breather. Nails need to breathe to prevent bacterial buildup and development of fungal infections.
11 – Most important of all – check your feet regularly and if you spot any problems visit your podiatrist as soon as possible. Watch out for signs of Chilblains or Fungal Infections.