Follow These Tips To Keep Your Feet In Good Shape As The Cold Weather Sets In.
Fall is finally here, which means that the weather is starting to cool down and sandals are being replaced by socks and shoes. Many of us have already dusted off our footwear designed to battle the constant drizzle and chilly winter weather that awaits us. Western Washington’s cold, rainy winters can be a pain, and not just in the figurative sense. During the winter, many people have more aches and pains in their feet and throughout their bodies because the cold weather causes their muscles and tendons to become stiff and tight. Moreover, the body moves blood away from the outer limbs like the fingers and toes in order to maintain a comfortable body temperature. That’s why your toes may start to feel cold and numb after prolonged exposure to cold weather. Chronic foot pain in the winter may also stem from choosing footwear in the name of fashion rather than for comfort.
Pick the Right Winter Footwear
Ladies, a pair of stiletto boots might turn heads, but they can also cause you to sprain an ankle or break a bone in your foot. Fashion aside, it’s important to find winter boots that are comfortable and fit you right. Wearing high heels for a prolonged period can lead to pain, tension, and discomfort. Over time, you could develop painful conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, heel spurs, and other chronic foot problems.
While you don’t necessarily have to do away with fashionable shoes, make an effort to limit your time in them. When buying winter boots, look for heels that are less than one and a half inches and make sure that the boots fit properly. UGG boots are another culprit of winter foot problems. UGG boots aren’t meant for walking long distances because they don’t offer arch support.
Additionally, make sure that you wear warm socks and shoes in the winter. Most fashion footwear doesn’t provide adequate protection from the cold.
Wash and Dry Your Feet Thoroughly
People often go great lengths to take care of their feet and ensure that they look great in sandals during the summer months, but they tend to neglect their feet in the wintertime. Your feet still perspire in cold weather, which can lead to fungal infections. That’s why it’s important to clean and dry your feet thoroughly and change your socks daily. In addition, use an exfoliator on your feet during the winter months so that dry, cracked skin doesn’t tear. Tears can cause germs to flock to the area. It’s also important to keep your feet moisturized in the wintertime to prevent scaling and itching.
Exercise Your Feet
Try to exercise your feet before leaving the house to prevent your joints from stiffening when you walk outside. Do leg lifts and calf exercises or move both feet in a circular motion to improve blood flow to the area. If you have to sit down for a prolonged period, rotate and stretch your feet at the ankles periodically to improve blood flow.
Minimize the Risk of Chilblains
Chilblains are small, painful, and itchy red lumps that mainly appear on the toes in reaction to cold temperatures. Chilblains form when the skin on the feet and toes warm and the tissues start using oxygen before the circulation is able to respond. Sluggish circulation puts you at greater risk for developing chilblains. Chilblains typically affect people who work outdoors and women who go outside in the cold wearing tight shoes that constrict their circulation.
Aim to keep your feet warm and well protected. If your feet get cold, avoid putting them next to a source of direct heat such as a radiator, in a hot bath, or on a heating pad because doing so could increase the risk of chilblains. Instead, warm your feet gradually by soaking them in warm water until they regain their normal temperature.
Contact A Seattle Foot Doctor To Schedule An Appointment
If you want more information about taking care of your feet in the winter, or you are suffering from a foot ailment and would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington today by calling (425) 678-3877 or filling out our online contact form.