How to Avoid Winter Foot Woes, Tips From our Doctors

avoid foot problems in winter, Foot and ankle care Los AngelesIt’s November. Daylight decreases and nights become longer. The weather begins to cool (even in California) and we see the change of seasons. Leaves change color, clothing stores trot out sweaters, jackets and boots, and orange pumpkins crop up around the neighborhood. It’s a season marked with change.

Your body also takes notice of the changing weather. Especially your feet, which are the coldest parts of your body (they’re the furthest from your heart).

Fall and winter require you to make some changes in how you care for your feet, especially if you’ve a history of diabetes or circulation problems.

In cold weather feet need to stay warm but dry

Swap out your summer sandals for some warmer alternatives. Wearing enclosed shoes and house slippers indoors is a good start. However, thee’s a fine balance between keeping feet warm and creating a welcoming environment for foot fungus. Appropriate socks can simultaneously keep your feet warm and foot fungus free.

If you live in colder areas, merino wool socks are great. (The wool from merino sheep isn’t scratchy like “traditional” wool.) Also, socks with Drymax and Coolmax technologies work great during colder months, or even year round, to keep your feet warm and dry.

How to heal cracked heels

The soles of your feet contain both the highest concentration of sweat glands and the thickest skin on your body. During winter, decreased sweating combines with colder and drier air to parch and thicken the skin on your soles.

Cracked heel treatmentMany people experience dry cracked heels during the cooler months. Here are some tips to care for cracked heels:

  • Keep your body hydrated with appropriate fluid intake
  • Wear appropriate shoes and socks to keep your feet comfortable
  • Exercise regularly
  • Perform foot soaks with warm water and a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Moisturize your heels daily with coconut oil

Many podiatrists can provide more powerful moisturizers if over the counter treatments are not enough to keep your heels happy!

Give your toenails a break from nail polish

During fall and winter, your toes are warm, cozy, and out of sight. This is a great time to give your toenails a respite from wearing nail polish. Nail polish and polish removers can be harmful to nails. Use this opportunity to restore natural nail health, so your toes will be ready for spring and summer sandals.

Avoid skier’s toe – make sure your winter sports footwear fits well

Avoid Skiers toe, University Foot and Ankle InstituteMany people enjoy the winter months skiing or snowboarding down snowy slopes. Unfortunately, there’s a foot condition named specifically after this activity. It’s called skier’s toe. This condition is caused by poorly fitting boots that tightly compress your toes or allow your foot to slide around in your boots. Either way, your toes’ impact with the front of the boot bruises your nailbed and can make your nails fall off.

Skier’s toe can take all the fun out of a day on the slopes. So have your foot measured and fitted by a professional, especially when purchasing or renting boots for the first time. If you have a foot condition that requires you to wear custom orthotics, let your podiatrist know. Special orthotics can be custom made for ski and snowboarding boots.

If you’re experiencing problems with your feet in any way, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

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