Because they are at the farthest point from the body’s core, our feet are particularly prone to becoming cold and even frostbitten during the winter. For anyone experiencing poor circulation due to medical conditions like diabetes, anemia or hypothyroidism, this can be even more pronounced. Our podiatrist at Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist is an experienced medical doctor specializing in all aspects related to the health of our feet, and wants our patients to stay warm and comfortable as temperatures dip.
Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind to protect your feet from becoming uncomfortable and cold during the winter:
Dry ideas: After bathing or showering, dry your feet off thoroughly before slipping on a pair of socks. Choose socks made of breathable materials like wool and moisture-wicking synthetics to reduce sweating, which contributes to freezing-cold feet.
Smooth operator: Moisturize the skin on your feet to keep them from becoming cracked and painful in colder temps.
Winter reboot: Wear footwear that’s insulated or lined and waterproofed, and make sure it’s not too tight, as that will inhibit circulation.
Quick change: Take off wet or damp shoes and socks immediately after coming inside, to give them a chance to dry out before you wear them again. Put on a dry pair of socks and slippers.
Go with the flow: Nicotine and caffeine both constrict the blood vessels, a reason to quit smoking and cut down on coffee.
Recognize frostbite: Burning, tingling and/or numbness, blisters and redness or an unusual skin color are potential signs of frostbite, which can permanently damage the skin and underlying layers. Immerse the feet in warm (100 degree Fahrenheit) water, treat damaged skin with antibiotic cream and seek medical attention at once. Do not vigorously rub the feet or use dry heat.
Taking the proper precautions can make it not only bearable but enjoyable to be outdoors. Contact our podiatrist at Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist for more tips on making walking comfortable all year round!