As the warm weather departs, you have to be prepared for the long winter months. In addition to other discomforts, winter can be very harsh on your feet. This happens as your feet move from the warmer summer and autumn conditions to the colder winter conditions. To avoid any issues with your feet at this time, it is a good idea to take care of them beforehand. Here are some top tips on doing so.
Take Care Of Any Toe Conditions Or Infections Early
Conditions like psoriasis and infections like fungal infections tend to flare up in the winter due to the drying effects of indoor heating and cold temperatures. The best way to avoid these flare-ups is to take care of the infections early before the cold weather comes in.
The first thing to do to determine if you have either is to check your toes. There are distinct differences between psoriasis and fungal infections. For example, fungal infections are caused by microorganisms while psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. You might notice changes in the colour of the nails, chipping or crumbling, tenderness, pain in the affected toes, and thickening of the nails depending on which you have.
There are lots of medications to treat both, although there are home remedies that help deal with fungal infections. There are no home remedies for psoriasis, and the doctor will treat it the same way they would treat skin psoriasis.
Getting treatment before winter will help protect you from pain should either of these conditions flare up. If they do, you might also be forced to change your socks and footwear, and this can be incredibly difficult in the cold winter months.
Remove Wet Shoes And Socks Immediately
The fungi that cause toe fungus infections love a warm and damp environment. If you do not have or are not actively treating a fungal infection, you need to take special care not to contract it. You can do this by ensuring your shoes and socks are always dry before wearing them and while wearing them.
Remove wet shoes and socks as soon as you can and air them out to let them dry. Drying the shoe upside down works best because doing so allows the toe box to dry, too. Also, remove the liner and let it dry separately. If you have somewhere warm where you can dry the shoes overnight, that works best.
Cut Your Nails
You might not think the simple act of cutting your toenails can be beneficial in the winter, but it is. You might not have noticed that your nails grow longer in the warm weather because you mainly wore open shoes and sandals. However, you will notice it when you start wearing heavy socks and closed shoes to keep your feet warm during the winter months.
Depending on the length of the toenails and the types of shoes you wear, the nails might be painful, and the additional pressure applied to them can lead to serious issues including infections.
The best way to cut your toes to avoid any issues is across and not down the sides of the nails. You can then use a file to smoothen them out. Also, remember to wear shoes that have a bit of wiggle room for the toes in the front of the shoe.
Another important part of preparing your feet for the winter is moisturizing them. To do this properly, dry them off after a bath and apply a moisturizer immediately while they are still damp. Doing so will ensure the skin remains flexible and soft into the winter months.
Additionally, it will help stop your feet from cracking, which can be incredibly painful in the winter when you have closed shoes on for longer periods.
Keep Your Feet Clean
In addition to keeping your shoes and socks clean, you should also wash your feet properly. This is an additional step for stopping fungal infections, especially if you wear closed shoes for long periods for work or school.
Winter is brutal for the feet, and thus you need to be prepared for it. Preparing your feet for winter is just a matter of knowing how to take care of them before the wet, cold months roll in.