As the temperature outside drops and the blanket of snow covers the ground, thoughts of tasty hot chocolate, warm fires, and exhilarating winter sports fill the mind. Whether you have your feet up around the fire, are plowing down ski hills, or just walking through the snow you’ll want to incorporate good footcare into your activities to get the most out of winter.
Five foot problems to guard against this winter:
- Cracked heels/dry skin: there are no oil glands in the soles of the feet and the cold dry air of winter can suck any moisture we have out of our skin. Improper fitting footwear causing friction or slapping action on the heel can lead to the heals cracking which can become painful.
- Athlete’s foot: when your feet are sweating in a pair of boots all day this creates the perfect environment for bacterial and fungal growth, especially between the toes and under toenails.
- Blisters: when renting sports gear like ski boots and skates, its often difficult to find just the right fit. This can result in your foot sliding around and causing a blister. Also, holiday shopping means more time on your feet and suddenly you notice shoes that were comfortable for short walks start to reveal stress points throughout the day of shopping.
- Raynaud’s: the tightening of small blood vessels reduces blood and oxygen circulation in your extremities, leading to blisters, pain, discolored skin and even chilblains. The symptoms of Raynaud’s usually gets worse when the temperature changes or drops suddenly.
- Pinched nerves/neuromas: excessive pressure from tight-fitting footwear can cause pain in the ball of the foot and or numbness in the toes, usually between the third and fourth toes.
Foot care tips:
- Use a heavier foot cream in the winter and apply daily.
- Change your sweaty socks throughout the day to keep moisture at bay.
- Put your feet up when possible, this is good for circulation.
- When purchasing footwear buy gear to fit the larger foot and make an adjustment for the smaller foot (we all have one foot larger than the other). If your feet tend to swell, purchase footwear in the afternoon. Never purchase tight winter boots, air cannot circulate around your feet and they will be cold.
- Get in for a reflexology treatment. It will improve circulation, relieve tension and support the body’s efforts to function optimally.
By giving a little more attention and care to your feet over the winter you will keep your feet comfortable and healthy to get the most out of winter.