Caring For Your Feet In Cold Weather: What You Should Know

Winter weather can be harsh and unyielding. It wreaks havoc on your body causing anything from dry skin to hives, and many other uncomfortable ailments. One aspect of your health that you may not have considered with regard to the winter weather is your feet.

Cold weather doesn't just affect your face, neck, and other skin that is directly exposed to the cold air, but also every other aspect of your body. So, all you need to do is learn what you need to do to protect and take care of your feet this winter, and you will stay healthy and safe all winter long. 

Do Not Constrict Your Feet or Ankles

When it comes to bundling up for winter, you may want to bind yourself in under layers and layers of clothing. However, you need to be careful not to wear anything that is too constrictive or tight, especially around your feet or ankles.

Your body naturally reroutes blood flow from the extremities (feet and hands) in cold weather. It focuses instead on keeping your blood circulating to vital organs in the head, chest, and torso. If you further constrict your feet and ankles, the blood flow is further reduced, which could lead to frostbite, necrosis, and other severe problems.

Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks

Whether you like to engage in outdoor activities in the winter such as sledding, skiing, or even running or you only go outside when absolutely necessary, you will need to make sure to wear the right type of socks. You want to keep your feet warm, but you do not want to allow them to stay wet or damp for any prolonged period of time. 

Your feet will sweat in the winter, and they can get damp from walking through snow and ice, adding more dampness to the scenario. To help combat this and prevent problematic foot fungus, you will want to wear moisture-wicking socks. This type of fabric pulls moisture away from your skin to help eliminate dampness. 

Do Not Use Hot Water To Warm Your Feet

If you spend an extended period of time outside in the winter, you will come back into the house with cold, achy feet. As such, your first instinct will be to soak your feet in a nice, hot bath. 

While this may provide temporary cold relief, you will actually do yourself more harm than good. Extremely hot water will dry out your skin, causing it to crack and possibly even bleed. Additionally, once you remove your feet from the hot water, they will go back to a below-normal temperature.

Instead, try to warm your feet gradually with a warm water foot bath. This helps your feet come back to a normal temperature naturally and in a way that allows your body to maintain the proper internal temperature.

If you keep these tips in mind, you and your feet will make it through this winter healthy and unscathed. Do not neglect proper foot care in the winter months. Contact a podiatrist like Jeffrey M Marks DPM for more information.