A boy laying in dried leaves.

“Mummy, what is Autumn?” – 5 Tips to Keep Feet Healthy and Happy in Winter

This was the question put to me by my 3-year-old recently.

As the cooler weather approaches, our feet have different needs. Here are 5 tips to keep feet healthy and happy through Winter.

  1. Moisturise: Our skin produces less natural oils and perspiration levels decrease in cooler weather. Additionally, we tend to enjoy hotter showers and close proximity to heaters. These factors cause the skin to become dry, itchy and cracked. Applying a quality moisturiser will aid in keeping the skin protected. Avoid applying cream between the toes as this can cause the skin to become macerated (soggy) and more prone to fungal and bacterial infections.
  2. Bed Socks: Patients will often complain that they experience more night leg cramping in winter. Keeping feet protected can help. Bed socks do not need to be bulky-cotton; lightweight wool or bamboo socks are good choices.
  3. Check for corns: Corns love cold. Reduced microcirculation is a contributing factor for the formation of corns and callous, especially on the lesser toes. To prevent deterioration and increasing pain, keep feet warm and ensure shoes are well fitting.
  4. Wash your slippers: While it is lovely to keep toes snug in the ugg boots, fleecy and fluffy slippers are a great place for bacteria to live. Keeping slippers clean will ensure that tinea won’t be your spring thing.
  5. Longer toenails: When feet are in enclosed footwear with thicker socks, it can place more pressure on the toes, compressing the skin. This can cause people who are susceptible to nail issues to develop irritation at the front edge. By leaving the nail slightly longer, the free edge doesn’t become embedded. Try filing nails more frequently rather than cutting.

Keeping feet healthy during cold weather is a lot easier than explaining Autumn to a child.

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