If your feet are not adequately prepared for winter, you may experience pain, dryness, discomfort, and even infections. A foot and ankle institute can offer expert advice on preparing your feet for winter. Here are tips to help you get your feet ready for the cold months:
Upgrade Your Footwear
If you’ve been wearing flip-flops or sandals all summer, it’s time to switch to winter boots or shoes. Opt for insulated and waterproof footwear that can handle the cold and the snow. Avoid high heels or smooth soles, which can cause instability on slippery surfaces. A foot and ankle institute can help you choose the right winter footwear that caters to your specific foot needs.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Keep your feet dry by wearing moisture-wicking socks and changing them daily. Avoid cotton socks as they hold moisture and don’t insulate well. When indoors, remove wet shoes or boots and let your feet dry completely before wearing dry footwear. Use a towel to dry your feet and toes thoroughly.
Moisturize Your Feet
Winter can quickly dry out your feet, making them crack, peel, and itch. Reduce dryness by moisturizing your feet regularly. Use a thick, creamy lotion or foot cream that contains shea butter, glycerin, or petroleum jelly. Massage the lotion into your feet, focusing on the heels and the balls of your feet, where the skin is the driest.
Trim Your Nails
Winter boots or shoes can cause additional pressure on your toes and nails. Keep your toenails trimmed and filed to avoid ingrown nails, infections, or discomfort. Cut your nails straight across and file the edges into a gentle curve. Avoid cutting the corners of your nails, as it can lead to ingrown toenails.
Seek Professional Help
If you have a pre-existing foot condition such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bunions, or arthritic feet, you may need professional help before winter sets in. A foot and ankle specialist can help you with the following:
1. Prevention and Treatment of Toes Issues
Toes are susceptible to problems such as ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and fungus. Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows into the skin, causing pain and swelling. Hammertoes are deformities that cause the toe to bend or curl downwards. Fungus can cause pain, thickening, and discoloration of the nail. A medical podiatrist can assess, diagnose, and treat these issues to prevent them from becoming severe.
2. Heel Pain and Bunions Relief
Experienced professionals can diagnose and treat heel pain, including plantar fasciitis and bunions. Bunions are painful bumps that occur at the joint of the big toes. They develop when the bone or tissue at the toe’s base moves out of place, causing the joint to become prominent. A foot and ankle specialist can provide treatments to relieve the pain associated with heel pain and bunions.
3. Foot and Ankle Support
Foot and ankle support can help you maintain healthy feet. A foot and ankle specialist can provide custom-made orthotics for arch and heel support. They can also help you choose footwear to prevent foot and ankle injuries.
4. Management of Diabetic Foot Issues
Diabetic persons are susceptible to various foot and ankle problems due to poor circulation, neuropathy, and other factors. Poor circulation can cause foot ulcers that require immediate medical attention. Foot and ankle professionals can help manage diabetic foot issues to prevent complications.
Contact a Foot and Ankle Institute Today
Winter can be harsh on your feet, but with the right preparation, you can look forward to cozy and pain-free feet all season long. Invest in comfortable and supportive footwear, and practice proper foot care to keep your feet healthy and ready for winter. A foot and ankle institute can help prevent and treat various foot and ankle problems. Contact a specialist to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards healthy feet.