How To Take Care Of Your Feet Going Into Autumn & Winter!
The Podiatry Team
It’s that time of the year again when our feet are going to hate us, when the evenings start drawing in and the temperature begins to drop, its time for our feet to go back into shoes again!
During summer months some foot problems improve due to them being in more open footwear but when your feet are back into more closed in shoes they can experience friction and compression which can cause pain. So now is not the time to take a break on your regular foot care just because they are out of sight hiding inside your shoes!
Here are some top tips to help look after your feet to get them into tip-top condition for the autumn and winter;
- Take a break from nail polish: prolonged wear of nail polish can deny your nails of sunlight and air this can exacerbate or precipitate a fungal nail infection. This can be very stubborn to treat and prevention is better than cure!
- Choose the right footwear, a lot of people seem to think that completely flat shoes are better but surprisingly they should have a small heel (no more than 4cm though!), with laces or adjustable straps to hold your feet firmly inside, and with good support. Your toes should be able to move freely inside your shoes, a decent size toe-box is vital to your comfort. Tight shoes can inhibit blood flow to your toes especially in the cold weather when the blood vessels are more contracted than normal. This can be dangerous if you suffer from conditions such as diabetes and poor peripheral circulation.
- If you suffer with cold feet, or chilblains in the winter, make sure you wear socks that are made of nature material such as lambswool, merino wool or treat yourself to some cashmere socks even! Put these on your Christmas list!
- Never warm your feet in front of an open fire or use a hot water bottle directly on them as this can lead to sudden warming and this may affect the function of the smaller blood vessels (capillaries) which may then lead to painful chilblains - see our previous blog on chilblains for tips on how to look after these.
- Take regular exercises to improve the circulation to your feet. If you are not very mobile you can still do some exercises to help with your circulation whilst sitting down. You can move the ankles up and down and in circular motions or even try and write the alphabet with your feet!
- The skin on our feet in autumn and winter can suffers particularly under dry heating air as well as the cold temperature making them dry, so make sure you use a good foot care cream with 10% urea content regularly to help prevent painful cracks.
- The skin on your feet can suffer if shoes are rubbing or pressing on them which can lead to painful corns or at worst a pressure sore or ulcer can form which not only is painful but will increase your risk of an infection. If you do develop problems with your skin, make sure you visit your podiatrist to get this treated and for preventative advice.
- Visit your podiatrist regularly, even if you don’t have a particular issue to have a routine foot health check, similar to a routine check-up for your teeth at the dentist, or an MOT for your car!
Enjoy the seasons ahead!