5 Ways You Can Take Care of Your Feet This Winter

Cooler winter weather brings different challenges for your skin, hair, and other body parts than the heat of summertime does. Whether you live in an area that sees only mildly chilly weather or you get more than one day of frost, we recommend considering the winter health of two of your most important body parts: your feet! 

At her Dallas, Texas, office, experienced podiatrist Francine Rhinehart, DPM, offers a number of services to care for your foot and ankle problems. But Dr. Rhinehart also believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why we suggest these five ways you can take great care of your feet this winter.

Wintertime and podiatric care 

Foot health should always be top of mind no matter what time of year it is. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the majority of Americans over age 50 have walked 75,000 miles or more over the course of their lifetimes. This statistic reminds you to always ensure your feet are well taken care of. 

But winter also can be a dangerous time for feet when temperatures are at or below freezing. And if you enjoy fun winter sports like skiing, you know the season can be tough on the old tootsies. Here are our five top tips for taking care of your feet and preparing for a better winter. 

1. Have the right footwear 

The first step toward proper foot care is wearing the right shoe for the right activity. This means no going out in flip flops when the weather is frigid, wearing heels when there’s ice on the ground, or participating in winter sports without the proper gear.

For example, if you’re planning to hit the slopes, make sure you have ski boots on — and especially a pair that fits properly. Same goes for ice skates. 

2. Keep your feet dry 

A big podiatric problem in the wintertime stems from trudging around with wet feet — and not just if you’re in snow. Even sweating just a little bit in your shoes can cause serious dampness. In fact, having wet feet for a prolonged period of time can lead to a problem known as trench foot, which causes redness, itching, and blisters.

And, of course, sweating in your shoes can also lead to the more common problem of athlete’s foot. Make sure to change your socks and shoes if they become damp and to elevate your feet while letting them air dry after coming home from a long day. 

3. Be wise — moisturize

Although keeping your feet dry and warm is a good practice, you also want to make sure the skin on your feet is getting enough moisture. It’s a great idea to use a foot cream or unscented lotion after your shower, especially if you notice excessive dryness. This helps prevent cracking and other problems during a dry or especially cold winter. 

4. Keep ’em clean 

You’re probably not rushing to get that weekly pedicure because no one is going to see it when you’re wearing boots. Still, this is not the time to neglect your foot cleaning routine, especially if you have a condition like diabetes. Always examine your feet when you wash them, and keep an eye out for ingrown toenails, cuts, and other problems.

In addition, take a little extra time to clean under your toenails. No one else will notice, but you certainly will if all of that time spent in thick socks and boots leads to debris building up under there and causing a fungal infection.

5. Move those feet

It’s common to get comfy during the colder months, but staying active is good for all parts of your body, including your feet. Find time to do a few exercises while you’re at home. It’s especially important to warm up the muscles in your feet if you’re planning to go for a run or enjoy another activity outdoors.

And don’t forget to give your feet a massage once in a while. This keeps your circulation humming, but it also does another, more immediate thing for you in the winter: keep your feet and toes warm.

To learn more about keeping your feet healthy in the winter, or to get help for any foot and ankle issue, call 214-216-6538 or make an appointment online.

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