Winter can wreak havoc on our overall health. From colds and flus to increases in Athlete’s Foot flare ups and sores in diabetics, the colder and wetter weather brings a host of medical problems with it. All too often, we bundle ourselves up to protect against the colder air, spend hours in waiting rooms for flu shots, and completely overlook our foot care. The results can range from sores and infections to fungus and Athlete’s Foot. How can you protect your feet this winter?
- Clean and Dry Feet: Good hygiene breeds good health. The better your foot hygiene is, the healthier your feet will stay. One of the easiest ways to keep your feet healthy all winter is to ensure they stay clean and dry. This means spending extra time before and after leaving the house cleaning your feet, checking for any sores, and drying them completely before covering in socks. This also means not skimping on waterproof boots. Sores and infections thrive in moist places. Investing in a reputable brand of waterproof boots that fit correctly is the simplest way to protect your foot health.
- Regular Inspection: Designate one night a week to a foot inspection. After this bath or shower, dry your feet off thoroughly while examining the skin and toenails for any signs of scales, peeling, or sores. Peeling between the toes can indicate Athlete’s Foot while discoloration of the toenails can signal a growing nail fungus. This is especially vital for diabetics, as this population is especially prone to foot problems.
- Buy Your Own Foot Gear: Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding this winter, resist the urge to share foot gear. Many people are carriers of fungus and bacteria without being aware of it. Invest in your own pair and check your feet after each adventure.
- Prepare for Public Areas: When showering in public areas, bring shower shoes. This includes places like indoor pools, spas, and the gym. These floors are host to a litany of fungi and bacteria and can be an infection waiting to happen.
- Don’t Postpone Needed Doctor Appointments: A crucial aspect of continued foot health is knowing when it’s time to request an appointment with NJ Foot and Ankle specialists. Call us at the first sign of an infection, sore, or unexplained growth to prevent a more serious medical problem down the road.
Incorporating these simple suggestions into your daily routine can ward off a host of foot problems this winter. If a problem has already reared its ugly head, call an expert at NJ Foot and Ankle today.