Each season has its own unique foot health concerns. Below are four suggestions for taking better care of your feet this winter.
- Commit to regular self-exams of your feet—It’s the time of year for New Year’s resolutions so why not resolve to make foot health a priority. Frequently looking at your feet can prevent or slow the progression of many foot disorders. Check for changes in size, swelling, skin or toenail discoloration, bruising, lumps, rashes, and toe deformities and report anything unusual to the podiatrist promptly.
- Moisturize More—When the temperatures go down the heat goes up in our homes, cars, offices, and stores. This can lead to dry skin on the feet. Be sure to apply a rich moisturizer at night and slip on a pair of soft socks to help the lotion work its way into your skin. If you have diabetes, be on the lookout for skin cracks and alert the podiatrist at the first sign of one.
- Enjoy Winter Sports Safely—If you like to ski, snowboard, or ice skate, wear the appropriate footwear and be sure it fits properly. This will increase comfort and decrease the risk of injury and foot pain. Ski and snowboard boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot but you should still be able to wiggle your toes freely. If you have Haglund’s deformity use padding to protect the bony enlargement at the back of your heel when ice skating.
Keep Feet Dry—Spending more time in closed-in shoe styles can increase the chances of your feet sweating. Allowing feet to sit in a dark, moist environment with little or no air circulation is an invitation for athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. Change your socks whenever you notice they feel damp. If using an indoor pool or going to a gym is part of your winter fitness routine keep your feet covered when walking in these public places to prevent contracting a fungal infection.
Take care of your feet this winter – your feet will thank you for it. As always, if you have any concerns about foot pain or unusual appearance, give us a call for an appointment. We’ll check things out and make sure you start the new year on the right foot!