Each of the four seasons adds its own flavor to the year in unique ways. Spring is a time of awakening and rebirth as the earth sheds her winter coat. The lazy days of summer are full of ripe fruit, crystal clear pools for swimming, and no classes for happy children. Temperatures turn to comfortable, cool levels as the trees explode into vibrant oranges and brilliant reds in autumn. Then winter arrives with its abundance of holiday cheer and snow-covered hills that beg for sleds and toboggans to race down them. These seasons also bring their own challenges to the health of your feet, but winter foot care is essential for keeping them healthy and happy.
Treating Your Feet
It’s easy to lose sight of your feet, literally, when they are covered with layers of socks and footwear, but this doesn’t mean this is time to neglect them! On the contrary, it is essential that you give them the care and treatment they deserve in the wintertime. This winter foot care includes:
- Proper Nail Grooming – When you clip your nails, avoid the temptation to round them off. You want your toenails to be straight across and even with the tip of your toe. When they are too short, or rounded, you put yourself at the risk for ingrown toenails.
- Massage – Foot rubs feel fantastic and help you relieve tension. They also boost circulation in your feet and refresh your skin. Do this while moisturizing (see next) and you can thank us later.
- Moisturize – Cold winter air can be especially dry—this takes a toll on your skin. Before going to bed, wash your feet with mild soap and warm water. Then use moisturizer on the tops and bottoms, but do not create an inviting environment for bacteria by using any between your toes.
- Keep Them Dry – Opt for boots that are waterproof and wear socks that wick away moisture in order to keep your feet dry. Bacteria thrives in warm, dark, and damp places and your feet can provide the perfect environment for fungi—even in winter.
Footwear always needs to fit properly from the time of purchase and wintertime is no exception to this rule, so avoid the temptation to buy boots or skates in a larger size for your children. Some parents do this in the hopes of getting an extra year of wear from these expensive specialty footwear.
Since we just mentioned boots, if you are going skiing make sure you have a well-fitted pair that are intended for that activity. A proper fit will have room for your toes to wiggle freely while making sure that your heel, instep, and ball of your foot are secured tightly.
Your running routine doesn’t have to be shelved in the winter! If you take the proper precautions, you can keep training for that summer marathon or stick with your resolution to drop some excess weight during the cold months. When you are logging the miles in cold temperatures, being properly stretched before your run is more important than ever. Cold weather makes you less flexible, so warm up first. Since ice and snow can be slick, shorten up your strides to give yourself the maximum amount of stability and avoid spraining an ankle or worse.
Your Winter Foot Care Source
Following these winter foot care tips will help keep your feet in good shape, but you simply cannot control all the variables that are out there. It only takes one little slip on the ice to need expert help. Fortunately, we are here for you year-round! It doesn’t matter if you have a sprained ankle or broken toe, fungal nails or plantar fasciitis—Mark Gasparini, DPM, and the professional staff at Foot Specialists of Long Island will give you the exceptional care and treatment you’ve come to expect from us. Simply call us at (516) 804-9038 or use our online form to schedule an appointment at our Massapequa, NY, office.
Photo Credit: Atlas via Pixabay.com