It may not seem the most romantic thing to do this Valentine’s Day, but taking a little time to look after your feet could keep you on your toes for longer!
Already, your feet would have been through a lot this winter, tucked away in boots and trudging through some pretty impressive snowstorms.
They will have been hot, cold, sweaty, and are probably showing the effects of rubbing in some form or other.
So, here’s a six point plan for showing your feet some TLC this February 14th.
1. Have some one to one time with your feet!
Take time to really look at your feet.
- Are there any areas of hard skin or calluses?
- Is the skin inbetween your toes smooth or red and rough?
- Are your toenails hard and uneven or yellowing?
- Have you any hard dark spots on the soles of your feet?
If you find anything on your feet that certainly wasn’t there last summer, treat them to a trip to one of our foot clinics, where we’ll check it out. We can also help treat minor ailments such as athlete’s foot, warts or nail bed infections right there and then.
2. Keep ’em dry
If you do nothing else this weekend, check how dry your feet are. Feet can get wet from melted snow seeping into shoes, or from the sweat we naturally produce when our feet get hot. Sadly, the effect is much the same, providing moist, damp conditions that are perfect for the growth of fungal nail infections and skin conditions such as athlete’s foot. The solution is simple: take off outside boots once inside and make sure they are somewhere warm (not hot) and airy, so they can dry off naturally inside and out. Then, dry your feet with a towel and pop on a clean pair of socks. This is the part many people miss out, thinking they can just let their outside socks dry off on their feet. In fact, this just keeps that nice moist atmosphere around your toes for longer, and can be counter-productive.
3. Keep ‘em moisturized
OK, now we’re going to seemingly contradict ourselves! Our dry Canadian air dries out skin really fast, especially if you’re of British Isles heritage. Just as your hands can become chapped and dry even wearing gloves, so can your feet inside socks and shoes. Add in the effects of dry air inside the home once you take your socks off, and you can have seriously dry skin without even realizing it’s happening. This drying can cause the skin to crack, so moisturizing the heels and bottoms of the feet is important in winter. Intact skin is Mother Nature’s best defence in protecting against bacteria entering the body and causing infections. Ask us for advice on the best foot moisturisers to use, to keep your feet supple and smooth all winter long.
4. These boots are made for walking
By this time of year, your snow boots and outdoor shoes will be showing the effects of months of snow, ice, salt, grit and that inevitable wet/dry/wet/dry cycle of life as a footwear in Canada! By now, much of the protective finishes you applied back in the autumn (you did apply them, didn’t you?) will have worn off. So, take time to both clean and reproof your boots and shoes with leathercare products and/or water repellent finishes. This will help keep your feet dry, a crucial part of winter foot care, as we’ve might have mentioned before!
5. Walk straight, walk tall
At this time of year, we see a number of patients who have problems with their feet and ankles after a slip or fall on icy surfaces. Experience has shown us that a proportion of these falls are caused by insufficient grip on the ice due to a combination of ill-fitting boots and resulting bad posture. We’ve found that patients who have their gait corrected using custom orthotics (insoles) in their boots feel more confident, as their orthotics restore the correct spread of weight across the foot. It always amazes us that something so simple, affordable and unobtrusive as custom orthotics can make sure a difference – make and appointment and we’ll talk you how you can walk tall with orthotics all winter long.
6. Shoe and boot disinfection
Don’t wait until spring to get your shoes or boots disinfected, do it now! That way, you’ll eliminate all those fungal and other bacteria that have built up already, and give your feet a clean start for the months of snow melt ahead. Our chemical-free winter boots disinfection service is available at any of our three clinics; just ring for an appointment and we can do it while you wait.
Love your feet this Valentine’s and they’ll love you right back right through until Spring! Call us at:
- London Foot Specialists (519) 432 3636
- Ingersoll Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 485-1750
- Stratford Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 271-8834