Winter can be a problematic time for your feet. The changing temperatures, wetter, colder and icier conditions can all conspire to create sore or painful feet. There are a number of common foot problems in Winter that appear regularly. Knowing about these can help you to take steps to take care of your feet especially if you are particularly prone to conditions that get worse in the cold.
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Why Do My Feet Hurt In the Winter?
Experiencing foot pain in Winter is relatively common for a number of reasons. Firstly the temperature changes because of the cold air mean that the muscles, tissues and blood vessels in your body start to contract. This can cause aches and pains in your feet.
Secondly, in Winter your feet are more likely to be encased in shoes and boots which can exacerbate existing foot conditions as well as create new problems.
Then finally the cold weather itself makes walking conditions more treacherous which makes you more at risk of falls or twisting your ankles in the snow and ice. Winter foot pain can be problematic and annoying but with some simple steps, it is possible to minimize the risk and look after your health.
So what are the most common foot problems in Winter and what can you do about them?
Dry and Cracked Skin on Feet in Winter
The skin on our feet needs to have some moisture in them in order to protect the skin. When our feet lose that moisture the skin on our feet starts to become dry, flaky and can develop fissures which can be painful and lead to infection. Central heating and dry air in cold weather in the winter months can exacerbate the problem.
If you suffer from dry skin on your feet then it is important to spend a little extra time caring for them to prevent foot pain from developing. A simple way to prevent this is to regularly keep your feet clean by taking a foot bath and using a pumice stone on your feet to get rid of any dry skin.
After you have used a pumice stone make sure that your thoroughly moisturize your feet with a nourishing foot cream such as O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet. In addition, you can wear a pair of moisturizing socks to help keep the moisture in the skin of your foot.
Winter Foot Problems – Athlete’s Foot
Another cause of foot pain and discomfort in the cold weather is the dreaded athlete’s foot. Whilst many assume that this problem is a summer problem the reality is that the problem can occur all year round.
In the cold weather, we are more likely to be wearing winter boots and shoes to protect us from the elements as well as thick socks. If you choose the wrong footwear in cold temperatures that don’t allow your feet to breathe then the trapped moisture can be a breeding ground for foot conditions such as Athlete’s foot.
To try and resolve the problem first make sure that you wear the right footwear. You can read our guide to the best workwear for sweaty feet to help you keep your feet dry and comfortable.
When you come home from a busy day make sure that you remove your boots, shoes and socks and wash your feet thoroughly preferably in an anti-fungal foot wash. Dry your feet and if possible try walking barefoot if you can for a portion of the evening to allow your feet to benefit from air circulation.
Always make sure that your boots and shoes are thoroughly dry before wearing them in cold weather. A shoe and boot dryer can make this easy for you or alternatively have a choice of footwear so that you don’t wear the same shoes on your feet on consecutive days.
Plantar Fasciitis And Cold Feet
In Winter your risk of foot pain from conditions such as plantar fasciitis can also increase. Plantar fasciitis is known for causing severe foot and heel pain that can be hard to resolve. People are particularly susceptible to it in the colder months because after a summer of wearing unsupportive shoes or flip-flops they will have gone back to wearing shoes.
To help plantar fasciitis and improve your foot health make sure that you wear footwear that offers proper arch support to prevent foot and heel pain. Walk-hero plantar fasciitis orthotics are a good solution to help flat feet and provide the arch support you need to prevent heel pain.
You can also perform daily foot stretches which can help with foot pain.
Sore Feet in Winter – Chilblains
Winter foot pain can also be caused by common cold-weather foot problems such as chilblains which can cause pain and discomfort. Chilblains typically occur in the colder winter months usually when you have been in the cold and return to the warm. The rapid rewarming of your skin causes blood to leak into nearby tissues and causes swelling, itchiness, pain and discomfort.
If you have poor circulation, are underweight, smoke or have certain medical conditions you may have an increased risk of this winter foot problem.
To stop chilblains from happening try and prevent yourself from getting too cold and try and boost your circulation. Avoid walking barefoot where you can and in the colder winter months make sure you wear thick socks to keep your feet warm.
Akilwinter cream can also help when it is placed on your toes or heels as it acts as a barrier to protect your feet.
Foot Injuries in The Colder Months
Finally, wintertime can be problematic for your foot health because of the weather conditions and any Winter activities you may decide to do. When it is cold, wet, icy or there is snow on the ground it becomes easier to twist your ankle, injure your feet or even break your bones.
Prevent foot pain from occurring by making sure that you are wearing the appropriate footwear for the weather conditions. When there is snow and ice you need to be particularly careful.
Wearing a good snow boot that gives you good traction on the ground is important to prevent injuries and minimize the risk of foot pain.
Remember to treat your feet by giving them a little more attention in the winter months. Cold air can cause joint pain, restrict blood flow and create painful foot conditions if you don’t take care.
Foot pain and discomfort can be avoided in winter weather if you take simple precautions to keep your feet healthy and wear the right shoes.
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