Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry - Podiatry Insights

5 top tips to prepare your feet for winter

Winter time can be quite harsh on the feet, they go from a warm centrally heated houses to arctic conditions outside, which takes its toll on the skin, making it dry and prone to cracking open. Chilblains can often be present at the ends of the toes and can be very painful to walk on.

These professional top tips will help your feet get through the winter- trouble free!

Wear the correct shoes for the weather conditions outside.

Waterproof shoes for rainy conditions - there is nothing worse than having wet shoes and feet, it makes them cold plus the dye will often leach out of wet shoes onto the skin which the coloured skin can last for days and months in the nails. Leather soles are so smooth there will be no traction with the ground and will slip easily in the wet, wearing grippy soles is a good idea

Snow and icy conditions can pose a real possibility for a fall, leading to fractures of the hips and wrists or worse. Good grippy shoe soles are essential in these conditions, get the cobbler to apply an anti-slip sole to the underneath of the shoes. Buying a pair of shoe snow chains which are applied to the sole of the shoe, they are so easy to put on any shoe or boot and are not difficult to wear providing that extra confidence when walking or running on the ice or snow

Two pairs are better than one

Two pairs of thin socks are a better choice than one thick pair of socks at keeping your feet warm when the weather turns cold. Wool and silk are still a great choice of material for your socks, the modern socks are washer/dryer friendly and there is certainly no itchiness involved with those materials anymore. Darn tough socks are our favourite make of sock and we both wear them for work and dog walking, a great sock for all activities. They keep the feet warm preventing the chance of chilblains.

Apply cream to your feet

Applying cream to your feet daily is recommended as the skin gets really dehydrated and dry in the winter and consequently the skin will crack especially around the heel area, which is not only painful but can be a portal of entry for infection especially for the higher risk groups of diabetic and vascular deficient patients who struggle with sensation in the feet. Creams with a 10-25% Urea content are great for really dry skin as they are better at softening as well as hydrating the skin. CCS is the cream the practice has been using for 30 years, it is Swedish and has out performed the other brands in our opinion.

Watch out for fungal infections

Watch out for those fungal infections (athletes’ foot) of the feet as they do thrive in the warm conditions of centrally heated houses as much as they do in the hot summer months, well- maybe weeks or days? (in the UK) Warm, dark, moist environments are perfect for fungal growth, avoid drip drying after bathing and dry carefully between the toes. Applying an antifungal cream. spray or gel to the affected areas of the skin on the feet is a highly effective way of treating and also preventing an episode of athlete’s foot. In clinic we have a five-minute fungal test which can establish whether you have a fungal infection of the skin or nails and we can advise on the best products for which ever type of infection you may have?

In-growing toe nails

In-growing toe nails that have been fine in the summer in sandals start to feel the pressure of tighter, snug winter footwear. Try to cut the nails across and not down the side of the nail and wear shoes that have a more wiggle room for the toes in the front of the shoe.

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