Maintaining healthy feet during the winter is a matter of keeping them warm and dry. Also, it’s about keeping them safe from injury, frostbite, the pain of Raynaud’s disease, and the effects of diabetes. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as we count the days until spring.
- Do update your sock drawer. If you’re outside hiking, running, or shoveling the snow that pours down from the Geauga, Cuyahoga, Summit, and Portage County skies, your feet are going to sweat a lot. Sweat will literally freeze up, making your skin vulnerable to frostbite in cold temperatures. Wear socks made of breathable wool or synthetic blends that wick moisture away from your skin.
- Don’t hang around in wet socks. If your socks get soaked from sweat or slush, trade them for a dry pair as soon as you get inside.
- Don’t soak your feet in hot water. Your cold feet don’t understand how hot a basin of water can be, and you can easily get burned.
- Do invest in a pair of excellent boots. Wear well-made boots with good tread, breathable materials, a warm lining, and adequate support. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight, both of which can lead to slipping, blisters, and other foot and ankle injuries.
- Do keep up with exercise. When exercising outside, watch for slippery spots and follow our tips to prevent falling on ice. If you’re taking up a new sport such as ice skating or snowboarding, get the proper training first. Learning good techniques can help prevent accidents that cause foot fractures. Warming up your muscles is even more important in the cold weather, so take enough time to stretch, including the muscles in your feet.
- Don’t let your skin run dry. Include your feet in your daily moisturizing routine to prevent calluses and cracked heels.
Feet that are cold all the time may signal a more serious health problem. If you’re having trouble keeping your feet warm or are experiencing other foot problems, contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio. We’re open late during the week and offer Saturday appointments. Call (440) 903-1041 to schedule a visit with our expert podiatrists Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann.