With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, people are returning to their lives. But don’t let the humdrum of your daily life distract you from winter foot care. The chilling weather outside, the heat inside, those warm and snug winter shoes, and the long hours on your feet are just some of the winter conditions that can cause a number of problems for your feet. We at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J., want to teach you about foot care this winter season. Many foot and ankle issues associated with the winter season can be prevented through basic care.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot or fungal toenails typically impact people during the summer months when feet are bare. However, our podiatrist often treat people suffering from fungal infections in the winter as well. Why? During the colder month’s we tend to wear unventilated shoes that create the perfect environment for fungi. You see, fungi thrive in dark, moist and warm places like inside of winter boots that are often lined with extra materials to keep your toes protected from the elements, but also can make your feet sweaty. The additional heat in your car, mall, office, and home also means long hours in sweaty socks. Change your socks often; as soon as you feel some dampness, change your socks. Use foot powder before putting on your socks and shoes to help absorb the sweat caused by heavier, unventilated winter footwear.
Switch Your Shoes
Alternating your footwear this winter will not only show people that you’re fashionable, but also keep your feet from becoming infected. Continuously wearing the same shoes does not allow enough time for moisture to evaporate. Fungi love damp, dark, and warm places so wearing the same shoes daily is an open invitation for these pesky creatures. Winter shoes are especially problematic because they tend to be unventilated and lined with fabrics that absorb moisture. Let your shoes breath, allow them to dry out by periodically switching your footwear.
Winter Walkin’ With the Right Footwear
You should choose proper footwear no matter what time of the year, but winter presents a host of environmental factors you should consider before putting on your shoes. The onset of winter weather can create the perfect conditions for foot and ankle injuries to occur. In 2014, about 43,000 work related injuries in the winter resulted from slipping or falling in ice, sleet, or snow. The risk of ankle sprains, fractures, and other foot injuries can be significantly reduced by selecting the proper shoes. Make sure that your shoes have a good non-slip tread and a low, wide heel. Wear snowshoes that not only protect your feet from the cold, but also from slips and falls. Proper winter footwear should provide traction against the snow and icy surfaces. The footwear should also keep your feet warm, insulated, and be water-resistant. Proper protection can help ward off against poor blood circulation caused by the cold.
While sporting shoes that ward of winter elements is important, so is how they fit. It is important to purchase shoes that provide the right support and fit to prevent injuries. The feet affect our posture and gait and trying to navigate snowy or icy conditions puts a great deal of stress on our feet.
Wash, Rinse and Repeat, Daily.
The last tip, and perhaps the simplest, wash your feet daily. Dirty, sweaty feet create an ideal environment for fungal infections. Washing your feet everyday protects your feet from fungi and keeps your feet looking and feeling fresh.
Check in With Your Podiatrist:
If you injured your foot and ankle because of the winter conditions or if you are suffering from a fungal infection because of those warm winter boots, do not hesitate; make an appointment with us immediately for treatment. With 4 convenient locations, Ankle & Foot specialist of N.J. is dedicated to treating various foot ailments and is well equipped to handle any podiatric conditions.