As the weather has taken a surprising cold turn here in Houston, many of us have pulled out thick socks and boots that we don’t typically wear all that often down here. It’s been a while since our last cold spell, so I figured I’d share some tips on how to keep your feet healthy during our winter (however brief it ends up being):
•Footwear—Even if you only end up wearing them 10 times a year, it’s very important to get a good pair of waterproof winter boots. They should fit properly—too snug, and you’ll be at risk of an ingrown toenails or blisters. Boots that are too loose can cause blisters, too, so pick a pair that finds that perfect middle ground.
•Foot care—With Houston’s volatile weather—hot and humid one day, nearly freezing the next—skin can get confused. During the colder days of winter, especially as dry, warm air fills our homes, your feet can become dry and cracked as well, causing pain and, if you’re diabetic, putting you at risk of developing foot ulcers. To ward off this potentially treacherous dry skin, moisturize feet once or twice a day, concentrating on the delicate skin around the heels and sides of the feet.
•Foot Fungus— Did you have a fungus last winter that you’ve treated and cleared? Well, guess what? If you haven’t worn those boots in a while and never treated them, your old fungus could still be lurking inside your footwear, waiting to re-infect you. To avoid that problem, spray anti-fungal agents inside boots or shoes that haven’t been worn in a long time.
Proper foot care is critical year-round, but we can easily get tripped up when outside factors, like sudden weather shifts, change our usual hygiene routines. When the thermometer dips, stay smart, stay on top of your foot health and visit your Houston podiatrist year round for any unusual foot pain.