Even when you are in full holiday-mode a couple weeks from now, it’s important to remember to take extra care of your feet during these colder months. Because we are often wearing warm socks or boots, it’s easy for feet to get sweaty and uncomfortable. Mix that with the dry air of winter and there can be problems. That’s why it’s crucial to protect your feet and ankles from the elements of wintertime.
Most people assume that simply wearing boots and keeping their feet warm is the key to keeping feet healthy. While it certainly helps, there is a lot more that goes into keeping your feet healthy during the wintertime. If you want to make it through the holiday season without any issues, check out the four helpful tips we’ve outlined below!
Wash Twice a Day
During the winter months, it’s important to add to your personal hygiene routine by washing your feet twice a day — once in the morning and once at night. As warm and comfortable as your boots and socks may be, they actually create a warm, dark environment — the perfect breeding ground for fungus and other bacteria. To counteract this, wash your feet twice daily with soap and warm water. Then make sure to dry thoroughly afterward. Doing so can help prevent toenail fungus and other related foot/skin conditions.
The cold, dry winter air is the main cause of dry skin, but we also contribute by spending time in homes or offices with forced air. Dry skin on your feet can lead to the build-upof calluses which can eventually cause painful sores that can become easily infected. Foot infections are especially dangerous for diabetic patients.
So in addition to washing your feet more often, be sure to moisturize your feet regularly. The skin on your feet is actually thicker than the skin on the rest of your body, so don’t be afraid to moisturize often. You can use over-the-counter products or visit your foot doctor at Foot & Ankle Associates if you need something stronger.
Don’t Forget the Nails
Keeping toenails properly trimmed is important for preventing conditions like ingrown toenails and toenail fungus. This is especially true during the winter months because our feet are often confined to closed-toe shoes and large boots. It can be difficult to notice any infections or fungal growths because our feet are always covered. That’s why it’s important to not only manicure nails properly, but also perform self-evaluations and visit your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Associates Mo0resville, Huntersville, Denver or Charlotte, NC offices for treatment as soon as you think there’s a problem.
Adjust Stride and Stretch
If you are a runner and enjoy running outside to the point where you don’t stop during the wintertime, there are some precautions you should take. Winter often brings dangerous running conditions like ice. When there are dangerous conditions, try shortening your stride to maximize stability. Colder weather also means less flexibility because your muscles become stiff more easily. While your first inclination might be to just run until you are warmed up, muscles actually work more efficiently when they are warm. Running without warming up could be a big problem — so be sure to stretch before starting.
If you have feet problem this winter or have questions about winter foot care, visit our experienced podiatric team at any of Foot & Ankle Associates North Carolina locations. Click the office links below to schedule an appointment online or call the office most convenient for you to speak with a member of our front office team.