Snow storms, cold temperatures and overheated offices and stores are some of the less pleasant aspects of winter. Seasonal elements can have a negative impact on the health of your feet too. At Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, we want to offer our patients the following tips to help protect your feet from winter woes:
- Choose Shoes Wisely—although this is good advice for any time of the year, it’s important in the winter for two specific reasons. First, you want to have shoes that are weather appropriate to keep your feet warm and solidly on the pavement in slippery conditions. Also, ever notice how after a day in your favorite fashion boots your feet ache? Many boots do not provide good arch support. Consider this when purchasing or limit your time in boots.
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize—dry skin is par for the course during winter months. Skin on your feet can become flaky, itchy and red. In severe cases, heel fissures or cracks in the skin can develop. Not only are these very painful, they can open the door for bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. Limit the amount of time in hot showers or baths. Apply a thick, rich, emollient cream or lotion to feet at least twice daily.
- Air Them Out—If you come in direct contact with a fungi (by walking barefoot in the gym, using communal showers or getting a pedicure in a salon that does not follow proper sanitizing procedures), it is likely to quickly develop into an infection. Why? Fungi thrive in dark, damp places like the insides of warm socks and boots. Make sure your feet get some air at the end of the day and try to alternate shoes to allow each pair a day to air out between wearings.
- Watch Where You Walk—slips and falls in icy weather can result in fractures and sprains to your feet and ankles. If you must go out when the weather is treacherous, be extra observant about where you walk and look for routes that are well cleared and salted. Do not try to text or talk on the phone while walking or do anything else that will distract you from paying attention to the conditions of the pavement you walking on.
If despite following our tips you end up with a foot injury or other painful condition this winter, contact our Wayne office for an appointment. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul Klein will be able to provide a prompt and accurate diagnosis of your foot condition and prescribe the right treatment to get you back on your feet in no time.