4 Fall Foot Care Tips
Nobody will argue that 2020 has been an unusual and unprecedented year. The seasons, however, still proceed pretty much as normal! So let’s take some time for fall foot care!
As temperatures start to cool down, daylight hours start to dwindle, and the winter’s icy finger beckons from the horizon, now is a good time as any to take stock of your fall foot care habits and prepare for some changes in the air.
We have a few fall foot care tips for you to mull over your pumpkin spice latte (yes, we know they’re already been out since August). One thing to always keep in mind, though, is that we’re here for you whenever a foot or ankle problem needs some expert attention. Never hesitate to contact us when any concerns or questions come your way.
Start (or Continue) a Moisturizing Routine
If you managed to be out and about this summer, spending a good amount of time in sandals, then your feet might already be experiencing some dryness and roughness from the treatment. And even if you’ve been more of a stay-at-homer recently, colder weather typically means more dryness is on the way.
In either case, now is a good time to start moisturizing your feet – if you don’t already have a good routine going, that is. Staying moisturized will not only help your skin stay smooth and healthy, but also help prevent cracks that can lead to pain and increased risk of infection.
A good moisturizer does not have to be fancy or expensive. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, urea, and lactic acid, which lend themselves in different ways toward exfoliating and drawing moisture to your feet.
A good time to moisturize is just after a shower, when your feet have been soaking just a bit and are most receptive (plus you’re already barefoot anyway).
When you apply moisturizer, apply evenly – but do not let any accumulate between the toes. It is easier for moisture to become trapped there and gradually lead to soggy, damaged skin. If you have diabetes or poor circulation that can complicate damage to the feet, we do not recommend placing moisturizer between your toes at all.
Test Out Your Fall and Winter Shoes
Any shoes you haven’t worn during the past season or two deserve some examination.
Circumstances can change from year to year. Feet can gradually change size and shape, even in adulthood. The materials in shoes can also start to naturally degrade, even if you haven’t been using them.
When checking out your seasonal shoes, make sure that:
- Your toes have enough room to wiggle freely within, and that they are not compressed against each other or the sides of the shoe.
- Your heel and the ball of your foot remain firmly planted in the shoe, and are not sliding around.
- Your treads are not worn out, and show no signs of uneven wear. (Let us know if this is the case, as it is often a sign of a gait abnormality that might need to be addressed via custom orthotics or other methods.)
- The shoes are still supportive and comfortable. Spend a few free hours in them and see how your feet feel. If they ache or are otherwise uncomfortable, it’s time for new shoes.
If you have had your shoes for many years, even without much use, it is very likely that they’re no longer in good enough shape for continued use. It is often better to acquire a new pair that is better suited to your current feet.
Go on a Nail Polish Hiatus
During the open-toed heydays of summer, many people like to paint their nails. However, keeping your toenails constantly exposed to nail polish without any significant breaks can lead to discoloration.
Give your toenails some time to breathe and recover by taking a few weeks off polish once we’re deeper into socks-and-shoes weather. The overall health and natural look of your nails will benefit from it.
Keep Your Feet Clean Daily
This is true any time of the year, but it bears repeating.
Wash your feet daily. This can be particularly important during the fall and winter months, as you spend more time in closed-toed footwear. Shoes and boots can provide a warm, damp, dark environment where fungus can thrive, increasing your risk of athlete’s foot or fungal nail infections. Keeping your feet clean daily can help keep your feet clearer of these organisms.
Wash your feet well (do not just let shower water run over them) and make sure they are completely dry before putting on socks and shoes. Make sure the areas between the toes are dry, too.
The Best Foot and Ankle Care for Any Season
As we progress through the latter half of the year, our commitment to your comfort and mobility remains strong.
Anytime you or a loved one is experiencing foot or ankle concerns, there is no time too soon to reach out to us and let us know. In many cases, a problem can be treated much more quickly, effectively, and conveniently when it’s caught early. Action now can prevent worse times later.
Our offices in Johnstown and Ebensburg are open for in-office appointments, and we continue to take telemedicine appointments as well. Call us at (814) 472-2660 to speak with our staff and discuss which option would be best for your current needs.