It is easy to neglect your feet during the winter months. As the old saying goes ‘out of sight, out of mind’. This time of year presents unique challenges for your feet. Looking after them now will ensure they are in tip top condition by the time spring rolls around.
Here are my top tips for keeping your feet healthy this winter:
Alternating footwear each day during winter will allow shoes ample time to ‘air out’ between wears. The added warmth from closed shoes and warm socks may cause your feet to sweat, increasing the risk of infections such as tinea. It is important to wear appropriate footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable. As you may wear thicker socks in winter, ensure shoes and boots fit comfortably and are not too tight. Choose shoes with a thicker sole that have adequate grip as this will help your feet stay dry during the rain and remain stable on slippery surfaces.
- Beware of chilblains!
If you have never experienced chilblains before, lucky you! For the rest of us who have suffered from them you will know that they are painful, red, itchy swellings that develop on the tips of your toes. They occur due to an abnormal reaction to the cold and are common in people who have poor circulation. Chilblains can be exacerbated by abrupt changes in temperature, such as a hot shower or bath. Safely keep your feet warm by using woollen socks or an extra blanket over your feet. Moving your body gets your blood pumping all the way down to your feet and is a great way to keep warm and prevent chillblains, so don’t forget to keep exercising! Avoid using a wheat bag, hot water bottle or electric blanket directly on your feet and ensure your bath and shower water is not too hot.
- Go polish free
As your feet are inside shoes and socks most of the time there’s no need to wear nail polish on your toenails during winter. Using nail polish continually increases the risk of developing a fungal infection. It is best to give your toenails a breather and allow them to rest and repair during the winter months.
For more tips on how to look after your feet this winter, check out our blog post on Chief Active. If you have any concerns regarding your feet please contact us directly to schedule an appointment. We are more than happy to help!