Winter is often the toughest season on healthy skin, especially for your feet. Excessively dry skin isn’t just an eyesore, but it can also be a source of pain or even infection if cracks in the heels run deep enough. Likewise, infections like fungal toenails and athlete’s foot, which are caused by fungal growth that thrives in wet shoes, are matters you definitely want to avoid.
During this time of year, your feet have to face a number of hostile forces that aren’t as common in warmer seasons:
- Dry indoor heating causes skin to lose moisture more quickly. That often means dry skin, sometimes even including severe flaking and cracking.
- Bitter outdoor temperatures can lead to frostbite if you don’t protect your feet adequately from the cold.
- Wet snow, rain, and slush can soak through shoes that aren’t waterproof, increasing the likelihood of foot odor, as well as bacterial and fungal skin infections.
As a result, if you want healthy, great-looking skin during the colder months, you may need to take a little extra time and care with a winter foot care routine. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It’s very likely you will need to use moisturizer more frequently in winter than you do in warmer seasons, or use a thicker moisturizing cream.
- Get a humidifier for your home. This will help counter-act some of the ill effects of indoor heat and prevent your skin from drying out as quickly.
- Keep showers quick and not too hot. We know how great long, hot showers feel in the moment—especially in winter—but they actually dehydrate your skin by washing away natural oils.
- Avoid wearing non-waterproof footwear out in the rain, snow, or slush. If your socks or shoes get soaked, replace them with clean, dry pairs as soon as possible.
- Make sure your feet are always protected from cold if you’re going to go outside. Warm boots and, if necessary, an extra pair of socks are good choices.
If winter weather is giving your feet the blues, make an appointment with the team at Family Foot & Ankle Center. Our experts will be happy to resolve any problems with dry skin or infections, as well as help you put together a comprehensive prevention plan for keeping your skin looking great no matter the weather. Schedule an appointment at any of our Greater Cincinnati offices by calling (888) 689-3317.