Winter in the UK is cold, snowy, and icy. It is important to take certain precautions to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry. This is particularly important to those people in higher-risk groups, such as diabetics, those with poor circulation, who have medical conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, or who may be more susceptible to damage from falls.
Here are some tips that will keep your feet looking and feeling healthy this winter, and keep you going into spring and summer!
Tips About Healthy Feet in Winter
- Do take care when walking over snow and ice. Wear sensible shoes that provide good insulation *and* grip. It’s no use wearing great big wellies if you then end up slipping over.
- Be wary of chapped skin – dry skin is far more likely to crack or tear, allowing germs where they can cause infection.
- Be very wary of cracked heels – this condition, known as plantar fasciitis, is extremely painful and may take some time to heal properly.
- Look out for signs of blisters or other conditions on your feet, such as corns or calluses, which can be painful and make it difficult to walk.
- If you are wearing footwear that makes your feet overheat, the blood vessels will dilate in order to try and get rid of this excess heat. This means that blood flow is not only reduced, but also more likely to be cut off completely should you injure yourself! So choose sensible shoes for winter.
- One way to help you keep your feet warm in winter is to soak them in cold water before bed every night. This will shrink the veins that carry blood back towards the heart, meaning that less heat is lost.
- Wear woolen socks (not cotton – this keeps moisture next to the skin) and change them twice a day if possible! Socks should be washed free of any sweat or dampness every day.
- If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for sores and blisters, and report anything suspicious to a doctor immediately.
If you are unsure about something on your foot, visit a podiatrist. They can diagnose conditions such as corn and help with any treatment.