Don't Let Old Man Winter Freeze Your Foot Care Regimen
Simple tips to help keep those winter feet happy and healthy.
Winter is creeping slowly upon us. And if you are like me you will definitely miss the sun, sand, beach days, and sliding on your favorite pair of sandals. As we transition from enjoying our summer days with numerous outdoor activities to being indoors more frequently, it is very important to continue your foot care regimen.
I know what you are saying. I am going to be indoors and my feet will be protected from all of the elements, what could possible go wrong? The fact is although shielded from the elements, your feet can suffer in the winter months if they are neglected and that can lead to very unhealthy feet. So, how do problems with the feet occur?
Well, for one the cold moist environment outdoors paired with the warmth and dryness indoors can lead to a host of problems. One being, dry skin, especially on the heels. The warm dryness of the indoors can dehydrate the skin on the heels, which can lead to painful skin cracks as well as dry scaly skin on the rest of the foot. Also the warm moist environment of your shoes is a perfect environment for fungus that can invade your nails and or your feet.
Improper shoe gear can also cause problems with your feet. Improper shoe gear can cause some of the same conditions you may have experienced in the summer months including ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis, bunion pain etc. This can make you more susceptible to slips and falls increasing your chances for traumatic injuries such as ankle sprains and fractures of the foot and ankle. If you are diabetic, proper shoe gear is of critical importance because the wrong shoes can lead to skin breakdown and the possibility of ulcerations.
So, how do I survive these months and take of my feet? Taking care of your feet is simple. All you have to do is keep up a foot care regimen.
- If your feet are dry and scaly moisturize your feet. Most over the counter lotions will do the trick. Don’t pull off dry flaky skin or remove painful calluses. This can traumatize the skin and lead to skin breaks that could lead to a potential skin infection.
- If your feet are cold, don’t warm them up with warming devices or warm water. This can cause a burn and will dry out your feet. Instead, try a comfy pair of slippers or socks.
- If you had or have foot or nail fungus make sure to wash your socks and clean your shower with bleach, and spray your shoes with Lysol or anti-fungal spray. Also wear 100% cotton socks. This will allow for the foot to breathe and help the foot dry out any perspiration. However, if your feet begin to itch and you notice discoloration of your nails that is abnormal and concerns you don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us here at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists for an evaluation.For all you diabetics- check your feet daily. Any skin breakdown or abnormal changes need to be seen by us immediately, don’t wait.
- Proper fitting shoe gear is a must. This prevents blister formation and decreases the chance of traumatic injury. Finally for all of you athletes who enjoy winter sports. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society developed these tips to reduce injury risk: Warm up before any sports activity, participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength, do stretching exercises daily, listen to your body: never run if you experience pain in the foot or ankle. Nourish your muscles by eating a well-balanced diet, wear protective equipment appropriate for that sport. Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread or heel wears out, and stay a step ahead of sport-related injuries by wearing the right athletic shoes for the activity and making sure they fit properly.
Maintaining healthy feet is a never ending task and is essential in preventing injury as well as infection. And as long as you follow these tips your feet should get through these winter months with no problems. However, if you do experience problems with your feet just call us and make an appointment with your local podiatrists here at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists and we will be happy to help you with any of your problems or concerns. We look forward to seeing you.