Winter’s coming – and you can already feel it!
It only feels like a couple of weeks ago we were basking in glorious sun and I was sharing advice on how to look after your feet in the hot weather. But as the cold draws in, I thought it would be the perfect time to look at how you can look after your feet in the cold.
It’s fair to say a lot of foot care advice is fairly standard all year round:
- wash you feet regularly and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes
- wear comfortable, suitable footwear (and avoid long periods in high heels, ladies!)
- trim your toenails regularly
- keep on top of infectious conditions like Athlete’s Foot
Watch out for Chilblains
The cold weather can cause the appearance of patchy, red spots of skin on the extremities (your fingers and toes). The patches usually become swollen and quite itchy.
Usually, chilblains appear in people with poor circulation – particularly in smokers – and can be made worse by exposing your skin to hot environments when they’re cold. Avoid hot baths when you’re freezing!
Whilst chilblains are uncomfortable, they’re usually harmless. Try to wear loose but warm layers on your feet (a great excuse to invest in some comfy thick socks!): you’ll find this will reduce the likelihood of chilblains.
The moral of the story? Keep your feet warm!
The cold weather can cause skin to dry out during the winter and with so much going on at this time of year (ugh..Christmas! Bah humbug!) it’s easy to forget to keep your skin moisturised. Ensuring you’re on top of your hydration can help keep your skin healthy, too.
Cracking occurs in areas of hard skin on the heel which become particularly dry. Keep on top of hard skin by using a foot file, emery board or pumice stone to gently rub away the skin, followed by a good covering of moisturiser!
Of course, your friendly, local podiatrist (me!) can remove hard skin as part of a routine podiatry treatment. Be sure to book an appointment with us!
The winter can be particularly harsh on your feet. If you suffer with a long term foot conditions – such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis – you should consult a health care professional if you develop any problems with your feet or before commencing any self-treatment.