Winter can reveal the true optimist or pessimist in people. Yes, it can be cold and harsh at times, but braving the chill makes the cozy comfort of a fireplace and hot cup of cocoa all the more rewarding. Similarly, the cold, dry season can cause unsightly and painful cracks in your feet, but proper winter foot care offers some fine opportunities to pamper yourself.
In addition to the natural dryness that often comes with winter, factors such as central heating, hot baths, and too much pressure on the feet due to prolonged standing or walking can contribute to skin cracks and damage. Luckily, your parched feet are easy to remedy with a good moisturizer. Rub some into the soles and heels of your feet when you get a chance during the day, then apply some before bed and wear a pair of cotton socks to keep from losing moisture during the night. Remember not to apply moisturizer between your toes if you have diabetes or neuropathy—that’s a prime spot for fungal infections.
Some extra tricks for foot care in the winter can also feel great. Scrubbing your feet gently with a pumice stone can remove dead skin and improve the appearance of your feet. This is more effective following a nice, warm foot soak to soften the skin. Don’t forget to massage your feet afterward with some moisturizer! You might also want to try a gentle foot massage with your fingertips to improve circulation.
When going out, consider purchasing a new pair of boots. Make sure they fit well and are water-resistant. Damp, sweaty feet are more prone to damage in the cold, so use foot powder in your socks and allow your feet plenty of bare time to breathe should you have to wear boots for long periods of time.
See? Winter foot care doesn’t have to be so bad! For more tips, or to see whether a foot care regimen is right for you, see Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry. Schedule an appointment with our Roanoke, VA office by calling (540) 904-1458 or our Blacksburg, VA office at (540) 808-4343.