This cold and damp weather can play havoc with your feet. From temperature extremes, to thick socks, feet generally suffer more in Winter. Here are a few tips to see you through to Spring.
Top Winter Footcare Tips
- I know it’s not easy, but try to avoid exposing your feet to extremes of temperatures – coming in from the cold and putting your feet in front of a hot fire is a quick route to chilblains, which can be intensely itchy and painful. If you do develop chilblains, don’t scratch them. Calamine or witch hazel can be applied to reduce the itching.
- Wear good, breathable socks – two pairs of thin socks may be better than one thick pair. If this makes your shoes two tight, try a thin pair of pop socks under your normal socks instead. Be sure to change them daily.
- Don’t let your feet get clammy. Make sure you wash and dry them thoroughly every day, especially if they tend to be sweaty. Dampness between the toes can cause funga linfections, such as athletes foot.
- Moisturise your feet, paying attention to any dry areas. If cracks develop (most often around the heels) see a foot health practitioner, chiropodist or podiatrist who will be able to treat the area and reduce any pain, and the chance of infection.
- If you develop corns, relieve the pressure using fleece or foam rings. Medicated corn pads or plasters can damage the healthy skin, which can be more painful than the corn itself.
- If you have hard skin or calluses on your feet, use a pumice or foot file to gently smooth it and reduce the thickness of the skin. You may find it helpful to soak your feet first, but make sure the water isn’t too hot. Apply a good moisturing cream afterwards, and put on a pair of thin socks to help the absorption.
- Trim your nails straight across, and smooth with a file to there are no sharp edges. This will help to prevent the chance of ingrown toenails, which tend to be more common in winter when feet are enclosed in boots and shoes.
- Sitting with your feet up for ten minutes is good for the circulation – take the chance to have a cup of tea guilt-free after a long day.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Everyone likes to don a pair of party shoes from time to time, but they don’t call them killer heels for nothing. Take a chance to wear good footwear, which supports the arch and holds your foot firmly in place. It’s best to shop for new shoes in the afternoon, when your feet are at their largest – that way they won’t be too tight.
- Inspect your feet daily, and watch out for anything unusual such as colour changes, swelling, peeling skin or discoloured nails.
If you are unsure about anything relating to your footcare, or have difficulty with trimming nails or removing hard skin, make an apopintment with your footcare provider, who will make sure your feet are in top condition and get rid of any problems before they take hold.