Connect with us:
As the seasons change, so do the demands we place on our feet. Each season brings its unique set of challenges that can affect our foot health. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore common seasonal foot problems and provide you with valuable tips on how to prevent and manage them.
Whether it's blisters from summer sandals, frostbite in the winter from the cold temperatures, allergies in spring, or fungal infections in autumn, our team of expert podiatrists has got you covered with tips and advice. Follow our guide to keep your feet happy and healthy all year long.
Blisters, often caused by friction in spots where your shoes may be too tight or move around, can be particularly problematic during the summer months. To avoid them, invest in well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks, and comfortable, breathable shoes. Applying blister prevention products like moleskin or anti-chafing balms can also help.
In addition to the above preventive measures, it's essential to choose footwear that's appropriate for the activity you're engaged in. If you're planning to do a lot of walking or hiking during the summer, invest in quality hiking boots or walking shoes that offer good support and protection.
We're quick to remember to protect our face and arms from the sun's harmful rays, but our feet need sun protection too. Sunburns on your feet can be very painful and dangerous. Because they are so low to the ground, they can easily become swollen and difficult to walk on, depending on the severity of the burn. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas like your feet and wear protective footwear, such as flip-flops, to guard against hot sand or pavement.
Moreover, staying hydrated during the summer is crucial to overall health and can prevent issues like sunburn. Dehydration can make your skin more susceptible to damage, so drink plenty of water.
The damp and cool conditions of autumn can lead to fungal infections like athlete's foot and could progress into onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails that is contagious and can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. To prevent these, keep your feet dry, change socks regularly, and wear shoes that breathe well. Using antifungal powders or sprays can provide additional protection.
During the fall, be especially cautious when wearing closed-toe shoes, as they can create a warm and moist environment where fungi thrive. Choose moisture-wicking socks and allow your shoes to air out after use to reduce the risk of fungal infections.
In the midst of frigid weather, frostbite is a real concern. Keep your feet warm with insulated, waterproof boots and wool socks. Make sure your footwear isn't too tight, as this can reduce circulation and increase the risk of frostbite. In many cases, frostbite is more prone to people with Raynaud's, a condition that affects the body's ability to properly pump blood to the fingers and toes. This condition presents in your toes and fingers turning white and numb. In this case, you need to be extra careful to keep your blood circulating, as well as your hands and feet warm.
Additionally, pay attention to your overall circulation and stay aware of your body's response to cold weather. When exposed to extreme cold, try to keep your feet moving and warm to maintain proper circulation.
The cold, dry air of winter can lead to dry, cracked skin. Use moisturizing creams and lotions to keep your feet soft and supple. It's also a good idea to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. If you’re prone to dry skin, applying creams like Vaseline, after moisturizing, will ensure that moisture is locked in and doing its job.
During the winter, it's essential to monitor your skin's condition. If you notice any unusual dryness, redness, or cracking, consult a dermatologist for expert advice and treatment options.
The colder air has a notable effect on your foot health, particularly in the winter months. As the temperatures drop, the fluid inside your joints becomes thicker, making them feel stiffer. This can, in turn, make your body more difficult to move, leading to discomfort and potentially exacerbating existing foot problems. It's essential to pay close attention to your feet during the colder seasons, ensuring you provide them with the care they need to remain flexible and pain-free.
It is important to stretch out your body continuously as the seasons change. This can prevent injury as well as regular aches and pains during daily activities. Regularly stretching out your back, legs, feet, and arms every morning will improve your mobility and get you ready to start your day.
As spring arrives, allergies can become an issue for many. Avoid walking barefoot in grassy areas if you're sensitive to allergens. Wearing closed-toe shoes and higher socks can help protect your feet and ankles from allergens.
To further combat allergies, consider over-the-counter antihistamines, but consult your healthcare provider for guidance, as they can recommend the most suitable treatment for your specific allergy symptoms.
Spring sports and increased physical activity can sometimes trigger plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is when the tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes becomes agitated and swollen. This can result in a very painful feeling on the heel of your foot. Ensure you have proper-fitting athletic shoes with good arch support, and consider orthotic inserts if you're prone to this condition.
In addition to season-specific advice, here are some year-round foot care tips to ensure the overall health and well-being of your feet:
Taking care of your feet in every season is crucial to maintaining overall health and well-being. By understanding the seasonal challenges your feet may face and following these prevention tips, you can enjoy an active and pain-free lifestyle throughout the year. Remember, happy feet make for a happy you, regardless of the season! So, take care of your feet, and they will take you where you want to go.
If you are experiencing persistent foot issues or injuries, consult with your local podiatrist. Physicians Footcare has a team of expert foot doctors located in several offices in South Carolina and Georgia, please contact us today for your footcare needs.
Taking care of your feet is always important, but it is even more crucial when living with diabetes. Diabetes can cause nerve damage or loss of feeling in the feet. So, if you were to cut or injure your foot you likely may not feel it, which increases the risk of infection and complications. In extreme cases, nerve damage can cause your feet and toes to change shape, making your day-to-day shoes painfully unwearable.
Diabetics must pay extra attention to their feet if their condition worsens, making their foot more prone to infection. To make things easier, our team of specialists at Physicians Footcare has put together a few foot care tips to implement into your routine.
Daily Foot Hygiene
An effective daily routine is a simple yet vital part of diabetic foot care. Clean and moisturized feet are less likely to become infected. A daily routine is a simple foot solution that will strengthen and protect the skin, making day-to-day activities less painful.
Start your routine by washing your feet with warm water and soap. Be careful not to use hot water as it will dry out the skin making your feet prone to cracking and itchiness. After washing your feet, be sure to thoroughly dry them, do not forget in between your toes!
Next is to trim your toenails, as the nail is soft and will be easier to manage. Trim your toenails straight across with scissors or toenail clippers. Be sure not to cut corners, this will cause ingrown toenails which are painful and will affect mobility. Once you finish trimming, use an emery board to file the nails to stop them from splintering.
The final step is to use a foot lotion to moisturize the clean skin. The lotion will lock in moisture, and keep the skin from cracking. Try to avoid putting the lotion in between your toes as excess moisture in this area can lead to fungal infections. This is also a great time to massage, which will get the blood moving and increase circulation in the area. Last, try putting on a comfortable sock to lock in moisture and prevent injury as you are more likely to slip after applying the lotion.
Choose the Right Footwear
Footwear is crucial to foot care and is even more important for individuals living with diabetes. As diabetes can change the shape of your foot, it is important to find well-fitting shoes that provide arch support and decrease pain while walking. If your shoes pinch or rub the foot painfully, it's time to ask your doctor about therapeutic shoes or inserts.
Comfortable footwear should be worn at all times. Try not to go barefoot as, with diabetic nerve damage, you are likely to not notice when you have stepped on something sharp. Slippers and moisture-wicking socks are a great alternative to going barefoot indoors.
Schedule Regular Foot Exams
Individuals living with diabetes should schedule regular foot exams to monitor foot and ankle injuries. Have a podiatrist or your healthcare provider examine your foot to ensure there are no signs of cuts, blisters, or infection. These symptoms are easy to miss as they can be difficult to see. You also may not feel pain related to the injury if you have started to lose feeling in your feet.
If you have noticed a cut or ulcer on the foot that is not healing, or are experiencing numbness in your feet contact your doctor right away.
Maintain Your Overall Health
Promoting overall health and wellness will positively impact the condition of your feet. Consult with your diabetic care team to create a plan that is best suited for your lifestyle. Protect the health of your feet by controlling the things that cause poor blood circulation and nerve damage.
While promoting a healthy lifestyle, it is crucial to maintain proper blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels as this will slow and prevent the effects of nerve damage in the feet. Monitoring these conditions will prevent blood vessel problems that often lead to foot complications.
Smoking is another factor to manage, as the habit decreases circulation, which will lead to other problems down the road. All these factors can be managed by following your care provider's advice.
The easiest way to increase circulation is through exercise. Regular physical activity will get your blood moving, stimulating blood flow in the legs and feet. Walking is a great option in this case as it is low-impact and gets the job done.
All exercises should be done in sturdy, properly fitting shoes. Be sure they have good arch support, as it will help to make exercise pain-free and enjoyable. Most importantly, be mindful of the condition of your feet, if you have open wounds or sores wait for those to heal before exercise.
Prevent Complications Through Foot Care
For individuals living with diabetes, proper foot care is essential in preventing complications and increasing overall quality of life. Be proactive with a daily routine, supportive footwear, and regular exams as they are essential to the overall health and condition of your feet.
If you have questions about diabetic foot care or foot care tips please contact one of our offices. We have seventeen different locations in South Carolina and Georgia, and our board-certified podiatrists are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Connect with us:
Copyright © Physicians Footcare™
Podiatry offices: | Aiken, SC 29801 | Augusta, GA 30904 | Beaufort, SC 29902 | Cayce, SC 29033 | Columbia, SC 29204 | Florence, SC 29501 | Hartsville, SC 29550 | Hinesville, GA 31313 | Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 | NE Columbia, SC 29203 | Newberry, SC 29108 | N. Charleston, SC 29418 | Orangeburg, SC 29115 | Savannah, GA 31405 | Summerville, SC 29486 | Sumter, SC 29150 | West Ashley, SC 29414