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Preparing your Feet for Winter

Now is the perfect time to make sure your feet are in tip top condition to avoid those winter niggles and to prepare your feet for next summer! Here we look at some of the top feet concerns that we should focus on this Winter and what you can do to help your feet out during the colder months.

Chilblains are a condition as a result of exposure to cold temperatures which is like mild frost bite. It appears as red, swollen skin that is tender and hot to touch and may itch. It can worsen to an aching, prickly ('pins and needles') sensation, and then numbness and ulcers or wounds in severe cases. You may not have had chilblains since you were a child but they can start again as your circulation isn't as good as it used to be.

Things you can do to avoid chilblains include:

  • Avoid exposing bare skin to the cold for long periods of time

  • Avoid fluctuations in temperature such as jumping from a warm bed onto cold tiles when going to the toilet in the night

  • Wearing socks made of natural fibres such as wool or cotton. Try to avoid synthetic blend socks. Generally nylon stockings are not warm enough in winter.

  • Wearing slippers/ugg boots around the house instead of bare feet or socks only (including your nightly visit to the toilet).

  • Soaking your feet of a night time in warm water to encourage the small blood vessels to dilate and thus increase blood flow and warmth to the feet.

In-grown toe nails: These nasty little things can take hold when we go from our summer open toed sandals and into enclosed tight fitting shoes for winter. Making sure you’re wearing shoes that enough room around the toes is very important for avoiding in-grown toe nails. Nail cutting technique is also important and as we get older, it can get trickier to reach them to cut them perfectly. Come and talk to our friendly podiatrists for the best way to cut your nails or have it done for you and avoid those nasty in-grown nails.

Cracked heels: Although usually a condition which strikes mainly in the summer time, now is the perfect time to prepare your feet for next summer. Soaking your feet every couple of days in warm water, as well as applying a cream daily to your heels, is a great way to avoid those dry cracked heels, which can be very painful come summer time. Talk to your podiatrist about which creams are best to use and how to prevent that build up of hard skin which can pre-dispose to cracked heels. If you have hard skin on your heels or your feet, our podiatrists can help remove it for you.

If you find it difficult to manage your own foot care, our podiatrists can help. Book your appointment online here or give us a call.

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