As we hurtle through September – and with Christmas undoubtedly likely to creep up on us out of the blue – I thought it’s probably the right time to share some of my crucial winter tips for keeping your feet healthy, happy and beautiful.
winter foot care is important
Of course, your feet need year-round attention to keep them healthy, but winter is a particularly harsh time of the year for your feet. With the cold, wet weather comes challenges for your feet, with your skin being prone to drying during colder months and the occasional time when puddles and rain get through your shoes (grr!).
Feeling CHILLY? How to warm up your feet
If you’re feeling the freeze in your feet, one of the quickest ways to get them warm again is to apply a moisturising foot cream in circular motions, working your way up the foot from the heel. This will help you stimulate the circulation in your feet, as well as bringing the added benefit of moisturising them too. (Pro tip: convince your partner to do the foot massage for you!)
use moisturising foot creams regularly
Whilst we’re on the subject of a good foot rub, make sure you are regularly applying hydrating foot cream throughout the winter. The cold weather can dry out your skin and artificial heaters have a generally dehydrating effect on your body.
A good quality, moisturising foot cream can help restore moisture to your feet and help you avoid painful conditions such as cracked heels or calluses.
winter pro tip: footwear is everything
As a podiatrist, I sometimes feel like a bit of a broken record when talking about choosing the right footwear. But, there really is no more important time of year for suitable shoes than the winter.
Your shoes really take a battering in the winter and warm, waterproof shoes and good quality wool socks are essential for keeping your feet healthy.
That said, with the warmth of your shoes and socks in winter it can be tempting to keep your shoes on for longer than you typically would. Make sure you loosen or removes shoes and socks regularly so that your feet get a chance to breathe can help reduce the likelihood of bacterial or fungal growth in the warm, moist conditions inside your socks!
Damp shoes are also one of the biggest causes of bacterial and fungal infections during the winter months and we recommend rotating through your shoe collection (if you can) to give each pair plenty of time to dry out. If you can’t do that, then put your shoes next to a warm radiator overnight to help dry them out and prevent the growth of unwanted nasties!
Polish on, Polish off
Your toes may look pretty, but underneath the layers of polish are trapped bacteria which can’t be washed away. Leaving your polish on too long can give that bacteria time to grow and cause issues.
To keep your feet healthy and pretty, make sure your feet and toenails are clean before applying polish and remove polishes regularly so that your nails can be properly cleaned.
If you can brave it, going polish-free will allow your nails to restore their natural moisture and also give them a chance to recover and grow out any discolouration from yellowing agents which can be found in some polishes.