Here in Cleveland, we experience cold, dry, and WET winters filled with lots of snow and sometimes even rain. The worst of both worlds can occur, the cold dry air can dry your feet out and the wet ground and snow can soak your feet, socks, and shoes in a matter of seconds, leaving you freezing and drenched.
The issue starts with blood supply in the foot. As the climate changes, so does the way blood flows through your feet to maintain and regulate body temperature. And wearing big chunky socks stuffed into tight fitting shoes or boots will leave your blood supply even more poorly affected.
The problem with cold and dry feet is that when your foot skin becomes too dry, the skin can crack and this leaves a clear opening for bacteria to enter your body and cause potential problems. When it comes to being wet and damp this is an environment where bacteria will thrive.
It is important to take exemplary self care of your feet in the winter months, keeping them clean, dry, and moisturized. Follow some of our favorite tips to keep your feet looking and feeling healthy through the winter months.
1. Clean and dry your feet, well
Always wash your feet when showering and incorporate foot baths into your regular self care regimen.
2. Choose your shoes wisely
Tight shoes can be worse than you think, leading to deformities such as bunion or serious injury. It’s important to wear shoes that fit properly and have extra room for your toes, imagine playing piano with your toes and then you have enough room.
3. Stay warm and dry, but moisturized
Cold air is often dry and can dry out the skin, keep your feet warm with warm and well fitting shoes. Also, try moisturizing in a circular motion from heel to toe, this will help improve blood flow and warm up your feet as well.
4. Thoroughly dry shoes and boots
If your shoes or boots do get wet, make sure they have completely dried before going back out in them. Leaving the house just to find out your shoes are still wet will lead to major discomfort and potential cause problems.
5. Remove nail polish and let your toenails breathe.
Nail polish is restrictive, it blocks the nail from breathing. Remove all nail polish from time to time to let your nails breath. If you’re nails are damaged try using oil such as olive oil to restore them to health.
6. For itchy feet try white vinegar
If your feet are often sweaty and you find them getting itchy, try a warm water soak with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes. You can do this as needed but if you are diabetic or have open wounds it won’t be suitable.
If you’re in the Cleveland area in need of a heel pain specialist, reach out to our office where podiatrists Dr. Ryan Huntsman and Dr. Elie Elias take compassionate care of all patients from the smallest injuries to the most severe conditions. The podiatrists at Highland Podiatry Associates are heel pain doctors, ready to help manage and treat your heel pain. Call us at (440) 473-0550 to schedule at our office in Highland Heights or Sagamore Hills, Ohio. You can contact us online here.