Winter Foot Care in Waukesha? We’ve Got You Covered
Winter in Waukesha. You either love it or hate it, but everyone can agree that they want to get through it without a seasonal misfortune.
The first thoughts of winter woes may involve burst pipes or cars buried in snowbanks, but our feet can slide into problems, too.
If your feet get dried out in winter, or too cold after a small amount of time outside, then you have a taste of what we’re talking about. Then, of course, there is always the danger of slipping on a patch of ice and busting up your foot or ankle.
There are many beautiful, wonderful things about winter, but it comes with some precautions to take for your podiatric health, too. That’s why we’ve gathered some winter foot care tips to consider as we plow ahead through colder climes.
As always, if you have any further questions on winter foot care, or have something that needs some professional care, please never hesitate to give our office a call!
Keep Your Feet Moisturized
Dry feet aren’t just a nuisance. The drier feet become, the more likely they are to crack. This is not only painful, but can increase the risks of infection—especially in diabetic patients.
Unfortunately, staying warm in winter can also make things drier in general by reducing humidity inside our homes. And when things get dry, the feet tend to feel it first due to a relatively few number of oil glands that keep moisture sealed in down there. (They’re mostly sweat glands instead, and we’ll get to that in just a bit.)
Using a moisturizer can help combat dryness, and it does not have to be anything expensive or overly fancy if you don’t want that. In fact, having fewer extraneous ingredients means fewer things that can potentially irritate your skin. What you do want to look for is ingredients like glycerin, urea, and salicylic acid. These help attract and lock moisture into the skin.
The best time to apply a moisturizer is when your skin is already damp, such as after a shower. Apply to the whole of the foot, but do not place lotion between your toes if you have diabetes. It is easy for moisture to become trapped in the spots between your toes, which can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Stay Dry When It Counts
Yes, we just talked about moisture. A time you don’t want your feet wet, however, is out in the cold.
Wet feet can grow colder faster in chilly conditions, increasing discomfort and—in more extreme cases—your risk of frostbite. Keeping wet feet in boots or shoes all day can also be uncomfortable and lead to odor problems.
Make sure the footwear you trek out in is made from waterproof materials to keep snow and slush from getting in. This includes running shoes, for those of us who like to keep moving through the season (and more power to you). Make sure there is little to no mesh along the top of the shoes that can give water an easy in.
A common side effect of waterproofing, unfortunately, is trapping heat. It’s a good thing, but also a potentially sweaty one. Help keep sweat away from your feet with moisture-wicking socks that keep your feet warm while preventing moisture from being trapped against them.
When you are out of your footwear, give them at least 24 hours to air out and dry. This helps get rid of the sweat that has built up inside, giving odor-causing bacteria and trouble-causing fungi less of a chance to thrive in them.
If this means having more than one pair of shoes or boots to switch between daily, that’s a great investment in your comfort—and potentially the ambient aroma wherever you put your shoes!
While your shoes are airing out, some anti-fungal or deodorizing powder may not hurt, either. Just make sure not to dump so much in that it affects the comfort of wearing them.
Stay on Your Feet
Conditions can become treacherous for foot travel in winter, and it can only take one slip to ruin your day. The chances of that happening rise if you are more active out of doors.
Don’t be reckless if you run in areas that can become slippery and rough. Take a few precautions:
- Try wearing some slip-on spikes over your running shoes. You can find these relatively easily at most sporting goods stores, and they increase your traction on ice. Be sure to take them off when the path is clear to help avoid excess wear.
- Shorten your stride in more dangerous areas. This keeps your center of gravity directly beneath you at more times, keeping you more stable. It’s how penguins do it, and they’re kind of experts in icy locomotion.
- Don’t go for broke. While running, at least. Winter and treacherous conditions are no time to try for a personal best. If you’re doing something like skiing or snowboarding, though, that’s a different story—but be sure to wear the right, best-fitting equipment when you’re on the slopes!
Take Care of Your Feet This Winter—And Beyond
No matter the season, there is always one way to take great care of your feet: contacting us whenever there is a problem that may need professional treatment!
Don’t let persistent, painful problems or sports injuries last without the right attention. If it means a bit of time off your ski season, that’s much better than chronic problems that may develop without the right care.
Call our office at (262) 544-0700 to schedule an appointment with us. Alternatively, if you prefer to reach us electronically, fill out our online contact form at any time and a member of our staff will respond to you during office hours.