Winter’s chill makes it easy to forget about taking care of your feet – but it’s still vitally important! Here are 7 great tips from our friends at Houston’s Diagnostic Foot Specialists that can help stay healthy through the coldest months of the year:
Keep Them Clean
To avoid getting an ingrown toenail, fungus or other unpleasant things on your feet, make sure that you take the time to wash them thoroughly every day. Regular soap and water should work fine, or your foot doctor can give you a few tips about what to use. After washing your feet, take the time to dry them thoroughly before putting on your socks or shoes.
It is also a good idea to soak your feet every now and then, particularly if you are suffering from heel pain or general discomfort. Epsom salt and warm water works well for soaking your feet and can even help ward off infections. Make sure that you do not use extremely hot water, however; this is especially important if your feet are very cold. To help avoid injury, use slightly warm water instead.
When washing your feet, you can take the time to carefully inspect them for ingrown toenails, foot fungus and other issues. If you find any of these problems, consider seeking the assistance of a podiatrist instead of trying to tackle them on your own. At-home remedies often do not work and can even be painful, but a physician can help.
Wear the Right Socks
Before putting on your winter shoes, take a minute to slip on the right pair of socks. Thick, warm socks can help prevent your feet from getting too cold and can keep them dry on snowy and icy days.
Skin can get very dry during the harsh winter months. Although you might think about using lotion on your arms and hands, however, you might forget about your feet. To help prevent cracking and discomfort, use a rich lotion or foot cream on your clean, dry feet on a daily basis.
Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing the right shoes is very important to prevent injury and to stay as comfortable as possible during the day. Look for shoes that are designed for what you will be using them for; if you will be running, for example, you should look for running shoes. Also, make sure that your shoes offer plenty of arch support; otherwise, you could injure yourself.
Give Them a Rest
Standing all day can be painful and even detrimental to the health of your feet. When possible, sit down and prop up your feet or soak them in a foot bath; giving yourself this rest will help prevent injuries. If you wear high-heeled shoes or other uncomfortable footwear, consider wearing comfortable flats at least a couple of days out of the week; your feet will thank you.
Exercise Your Feet
Before venturing out into the cold, give your feet a bit of exercise; doing so can help you avoid joint pain and other issues. Doing calf exercises, moving your feet in a circular motion and doing leg lifts can help. You do not have to dedicate hours to your exercise routine, but try to get your blood flowing before heading out into the winter weather.
Understand the Importance of Proper Foot Care
Taking care of your feet is important; this is especially true if you are diabetic or suffer from other health-related issues that could affect your feet or legs. Along with following these tips during the winter, make sure that you take good care of your feet all year long. Also, make sure to see a podiatrist if you notice anything wrong with your feet or are in pain.