7 Tips To Care For Your Feet This Winter
Winter has definitely arrived in Brisbane! It can be easy to forget about your feet when they are always in slippers but caring for them is still very important. We’ve listed some tips on what to look out for and how to care for your feet in these cooler months.
1. Dry and cracking heels: As the weather cools, your skin can become very dry. When the skin under the feet and around the heels become dry, it can split and crack. Aside from being painful, heel cracks can be a great portal for infection to get into the body. The main way to avoid heel cracks is by applying a good quality moisturiser, especially one containing 20-30% urea. This works to soften the skin, ensure it remains elastic and prevent cracking.
2. Ingrown toenails: One issue that seems to become much more common in the winter months is ingrown toenails. Moving from open toe shoes in the warmer months to enclosed shoes in winter can lead to more pressure on the toes. This can cause or exacerbate ingrown toenails, something no one wants to suffer with. One way to prevent this is by ensuring your shoes are not too tight. Shoes which place too much pressure on the toes increase the likelihood of developing ingrown toenails. Or if you have been suffering with an ingrown nail, call your podiatrist who can safely and easily resolve this for you.
3. Nail fungus: Slippers, especially if worn without socks, can be breeding grounds for fungal infections. The spores of the fungus can remain inside the slipper and potentially infect your skin or other nails. Wearing socks with your slippers and placing your slippers out in the sun when not wearing them can help reduce the risk of infection. Or if you are concerned by discolouration of your nail, there are a number of treatment options which can be discussed with your podiatrist or in our other blog here.
4. Removing nail polish: Leaving nail polish on the nails can be problematic, increasing the likelihood of developing fungal infections and damaging the nails. Especially during winter, it can be easy to leave the polish on and forget about it. We recommend that if nail polish is worn, that it is removed after no more than a week. This limits the amount of damage which can occur and ensures you can see your nails to detect any issues before they get too severe.
5. Ensure your feet are dry and clean: Properly washing your feet daily is very important for good foot health. This can reduce your risk of developing issues such as skin or nail infections, fungal infections and even more serious infections in the feet and legs. After washing, it is very important to dry the feet. This includes between the toes. As tempting as it can be to get back in to the warm slippers, leaving between the toes damp provides a perfect environment for fungal infections such as tinea to develop.
6. Keep your feet covered and warm: This one may seem obvious but ensuring your feet stay warm is important to maintain good foot health. Significant exposure to cold can lead to reduced blood flow and damage to tissues in the extremities. While we’re lucky in Brisbane to rarely experience such low temperatures, keeping your feet covered and warm helps protect against the elements.
7. If in doubt, contact your podiatrist: The feet are a complex structure and many different issues can present in the feet. If you are worried by something you see or feel on the feet, get in touch with your podiatrist for a thorough assessment.
At My Family Podiatry, we are here to care for you and your feet. You can get in touch by calling 07 3088 6116 or through our enquiry form on our website and we can help ensure your feet stay comfortable this winter.