Winter foot care

If you think that you need to pay less attention to your feet in winter than in summer, you are wrong. In winter, when feet entrapped in shoes are either too cold or too hot, they require a really special …

23.01.2017
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If you think that you need to pay less attention to your feet in winter than in summer, you are wrong. In winter, when feet entrapped in shoes are either too cold or too hot, they require a really special care.

The skin of the feet is indeed much thicker than in other parts of the body, but ii does not mean than it is more resistant. Winter is a tough trial for the skin. There are many sweat glands on the feet, and very little oil glands that would prevent the skin from losing water, therefore they easily become dry and rough. Skin on heels, toes and soles becomes thick and calloused, often with multiple cracks. Warm winter shoes do not let the skin breath, the skin sweats more and becomes soggy. It promotes odour formation as well as bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, shoes that are too tight may cause ischaemia and freezing. Thus, it is worth spending as much time for foot care in winter as in spring or during summertime.

Start with foot soaks in warm water with the addition of salt – that should refresh and nourish the skin, improve circulation and soften the skin – the smoothing process should be easier. To remove dead skin, you may use a natural scrub instead of pumice stone or foot file that, apart from exfoliating, will also moisturise and nourish your skin. After you dry your feet, apply some cream with glycerine and shea butter – you are encouraged to do so after each evening shower.

To prevent excessive sweating in winter footwear, put a cream containing tea tree oil (with antibacterial and antifungal properties) or a refreshing cream each morning.  During daytime, you may spray your feet with a refreshing deodoriser that provides a fresh scent but also prevents bacteria and fungus growth. Sweating is also well handled by talk which absorbs moist from the skin but, unfortunately, may leave white marks on your clothes.

If you have sweaty feet, sometimes you may offer yourself herbal soaks – e.g. oak bark infusion decreases sweating, and sage and chamomile infusion has disinfectant properties and gives your feet the feeling of lightness. Wash your feet in lukewarm water not to stimulate sweat glands.

You’d better choose leather shoes in winter – natural leather better protects against cold than synthetic fabrics. Shoes should not be too tight or have narrow toes – that causes ischaemia. You should also avoid synthetic socks. When at work, it is recommended to replace heavy footwear with light and breathable shoes.

When your feet are squeezed in tight shoes, you may easily have ingrown toenails. Once you are prone to that, you should ensure your toenails are not too short. Cut them straight, without leaving them rounded off.

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