Winters are amazing but only when you’re snuggled up inside with a cup of coffee and your favourite book since the chilly temperatures can get pretty intense. This means you’ll have to undertake measures to protect your feet from pain and injury and keep them in their prime.
One way to do that is by clocking in some quality foot care.
Winters can cause your feet to become dry and cracked. It can also lead to painful and bleeding heels, which can make carrying out everyday tasks a literal pain. Indulging in foot care will help protect your feet from the elements.
Here are 5 tips that can give you happy feet this winter.
1. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Warm winter socks and shoes keep your feet from getting cold, but they can also cause you to sweat too much. Excess moisture on the feet can make them prone to fungal, viral, and bacterial infections, making getting from point A to point B much harder!
That’s not all.
Extra moisture on your feet gets cold quickly, which may lead to frostbite.
To prevent that from happening:
- Wear moisture-wicking socks. Socks infused with silver or copper and pairs made with merino wool are great options because they wick away moisture while keeping the heat in.
- Sprinkle foot powder on your feet regularly. It will absorb perspiration and keep your feet dry.
- Let your winter shoes dry properly before wearing them again. It will prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria while ensuring your feet don’t get cold.
2. Wear the Right Shoes
You can wear thick boots and shoes for normal everyday tasks. Just make sure they’re not too tight as they can restrict the blood flow to your feet and make you susceptible to frostbite. They can also cause skin conditions like Raynaud’s to flare up.
Will you be spending a lot of time on your feet? Wear footwear that has been specifically designed for specific activities like hiking, walking, etc. These will help you prevent blisters, chafing, and foot injuries.
Ideally, the footwear you choose should fit you snugly around the ball, instep, and heel of your foot while having enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably. It should also have enough traction to keep you from slipping on slippery surfaces.
3. Massage and Stretch the Cold Away
Cold weather can impact the flexibility of your muscles and cause pain with every movement.
So, before you head outdoors, warm up your body to increase your flexibility and range of motion. You can do this by stretching your foot muscles with resistance bands or by jogging in place. You can also massage your feet with olive oil to improve blood circulation and make your skin soft, supple, and smooth.
4. Moisturize Regularly
Winter air can be very harsh on the skin. It can cause your skin to dry out, leading to painful fissures and an increased risk of infections — particularly for people with diabetes, poor circulation, or medical conditions like Raynaud’s.
To avoid dealing with the negative effects that dry air can have on your feet, give your skin some TLC.
You can apply a lotion or foot cream to moisturize your feet regularly even when you think your skin doesn’t need it. It will help treat and prevent dry, cracked skin and calluses for smoother and suppler skin. Just make sure to clean and dry your feet before you apply it or you may do more harm than good.
For best results, apply a moisturizer at night as well. You can cover your feet with socks to seal in moisture and let your body’s healing abilities do the rest.
5. Wash Your Feet Everyday
Wash your feet every day with a mild, pH-balanced cleanser to prevent toenail fungus and other foot-related problems. You can also treat yourself to Epsom salt foot baths. They’re great at reducing inflammation, relieving pain, discomfort, stiffness, and even reducing roughness for softer feet.
Dry your feet thoroughly after each footbath and pay special attention to the tricky spaces between the toes to get rid of excess moisture.
Prevention is better than dealing with foot-related problems that may ensue when it comes to winter foot care.
So, follow the above-listed tips to protect your feet from harsh weather. You may also want to take shorter steps outside if the conditions are icy. This will help you maintain stability, which can minimize your risk of slipping and falling on ice.