Many of us take care of our feet in summer; the sandals and flip-flops we wear do not hide telltale signs of any foot ailment. However, when winter comes, your feet stay hidden under socks and boots. The cold, snow and ice of the season may trigger several foot problems, and you may not even notice them. You just cannot ignore proper foot care during winter. Given below for your benefit are 5 tips for sound foot health during this season.
Select the right shoes and socks for winter
If you plan to stay outdoors for long, invest in waterproof shoes. The shoes you choose should have adequate grip to prevent slips and falls on snow-covered slippery surfaces. Since wearing woolen or thermal socks will help keep your feet warm, make sure your winter shoes have some extra room to accommodate thicker socks.
Keep your feet moisturized and clean
Keeping your feet clean is as essential in winter as it’s in summer. You may either use a little soap and water to wash your feet or soak them in a tub of lukewarm water; add a little baking soda to the tub of water to make your feet feel refreshed. Make sure to apply some moisturizer on your clean feet as winter makes the skin dry and flaky.
Don’t run or make any sudden movements on pavements and roads covered with snow, or you may end up hurting yourself. Even when you wear shoes with a good grip, it pays to walk carefully. Ligament tears and ankle sprains are very common in winter and it would be good to be a little careful rather than feel bad later.
Combat foot odor
You feet can’t breathe in winter when they are covered in woolen or thermal socks all day long and kept confined in boots or covered shoes made of rubber, vinyl and other synthetic materials. No wonder you have to battle unpleasant foot odor.
You should wash your feet with an antiseptic soap every time you return from outdoor work; it is the simplest way to get rid of this problem. In case you are on travel, check for some vodka in the hotel room mini-bar; you can dab a little on your feet and the alcohol will kill the odor-causing bacteria.
Stay protected against chilblains
Chilblains occur due to abnormal response to cold. These tiny, itchy lumps on the skin can be very painful, although they usually go away in one or two weeks. In case you tend to develop chilblains, you should avoid excessive exposure to the cold and try to stay warm. If you have already developed chilblains, you need to consult your podiatrist for medications to get speedy relief.
Dry and itchy skin as well as cracked heels are other winter problems. Apart from keeping your feet clean, dabbing some foot cream lotions or applying honey can help combat cracked heels. Those using the gym may tend to develop foot fungus in winter. Wearing shower shoes in the locker room and keeping your feet dry can help you stay away from it.
Although winter brings its fair share of foot problems, you can keep your feet healthy with these simple tips. In case of complications causing concern, you would do well to consult a reputed podiatrist with experience and expertise. So, put your best foot forward this winter.