Winter introduces a number of new risk factors for your feet. According to the foot care staff at Foot & Ankle Specialists in Blue Ash, OH, you have to keep clothing and climate in mind at all times. To help you avoid injury, they want to share several foot care tips to practice during the colder months.
How to Care for Your Feet in the Cold Season
1. Dress Warmly
In the same way you load your upper body with layers, you need to take measures to keep your feet warm. Cotton and wool socks are best, with wool having the added benefit of keeping your feet dry. Other socks tend to cause your feet to sweat, which will not only make your feet cold but also introduce the possibility of bacterial growth.
2. Choose the Right Shoes
If you plan on spending time outside, pick up a pair of comfortable, waterproof boots. These are your primary defense against snow and will keep your feet warm. Make sure they’re well-padded and that you have some wiggle room in the toes, as this will help with circulation while ensuring the heel and ball are properly supported.
3. Clean Your Feet Well
You’re probably not walking barefoot in the cold weather, but your feet will still gather dirt and bacteria. Washing them regularly is an essential foot care tip. Moisture promotes bacterial growth, which can lead to fungi and other infection issues. Make sure you dry them well afterward to avoid related risks.
Many people experience dry skin during winter, which can be problematic for feet. If you notice cracks and calluses from dryness, add moisturizer to your daily foot care regimen. Splits and cracks invite infection and can reduce mobility. Pay specific attention to your heels and toes, as these are most likely to dry out.
If you intend to exercise during winter, you’ll need to put in extra time stretching. Your feet likely endure the brunt of the activity and they need to be warmed up to avoid injury. Stretch before and after well to keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments healthy. If you notice any swelling, visit a foot specialist for an exam.
With proper foot care, you can stay on your feet throughout winter, and the staff at Foot & Ankle Specialists want to help. They offer a variety of podiatric services and are committed to helping patients stay healthy. Call (513) 769-4408 for Blue Ash, (513) 541-5709 for Cincinnati, or (513) 423-0672 for Franklin, OH, today to schedule a consultation. Visit their website and Facebook page to learn more about their services.