Five tips to keep your feet healthy during winter
Our feet form the foundation for our entire body so it is important to keep them healthy all year round. During the colder winter months’ feet are generally covered up and out of sight as we try to keep warm with thick socks, slippers and boots. However out of sight should not mean out of mind. The following tips will help you to ensure comfort and good foot health throughout winter.
1. Dry shoes and socks will help feet stay healthy Avoid getting your shoes and socks wet during the winter rain. Your shoes will take a lot longer to dry in wet weather. Damp footwear increases the risk of skin infections as the moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for an infection to spread. Try to have a back up pair, wear gumboots during down pours and let shoes thoroughly dry between wears.
2. Ensure your shoes fit properly Closed in shoes or boots are a must for the colder weather to keep your feet warm and dry. If your toes are being pushed together or out of position in shoes, then your shoes are too narrow for your feet. Wearing narrow shoes can cause ingrown toenails, corns and calluses. Remember that thick socks or tights also change the fit of your shoes so consider that when making your next purchase. If you have skin changes or ingrown toe nails, early treatment is advised.
3. Happy feet are warm feet Keeping your feet warm during winter can often be difficult. Chilblains are common in cold wet weather and are caused when there is reduced blood flow to the toes. Your toes may also feel itchy and the skin may look waxy, white or even purple. If you suffer with chilblains it is especially important to avoid sudden temperature changes, like the cold of the shower basin or sitting your cold feet right in front of a heater. If you are experiencing chilblains you should seek the medical attention from your doctor or a podiatrist
4. Winter sports are just as tough on feet as summer sports Whether you are a competitive runner, love to get out for a cycle or you are still playing football every weekend, injuries happen. All sporting injuries should be assessed as soon as they occur to get you back on your feet and back into the game. Heel pain, shin splints and sprained ankles are just as common in winter as summer. Let your podiatrist help keep you in the game all year round.
5. See a Podiatrist You do not need to put up with foot pain or foot problems. If you have any concerns regarding your feet and their health, seeing podiatrists is a step in the right direction. A podiatrist is a registered health care professional trained specifically to assess, diagnose, prevent, treat and manage foot and lower limb conditions. They have a broad scope of practice and frequently treat a wide range of problems that can occur to your feet.