5 Winter Foot Care Tips for Seniors

The colder weather is here and it’s time to break out the winter footwear. But many people – particularly seniors – fail to realize that the drier winter air and having to walk in ice, snow, and slush increases the risk of foot problems. So today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some important winter foot care tips for seniors.

Make Sure to Follow These Tips:

  1. Cleanse and Moisturize: The drier winter air essentially draws moisture out from the top layers of your skin, resulting in painful – and even infected – sores. Daily cleansing with soap and water, and then drying them and applying a moisturizing foot cream is imperative. When finished, slip on snug cotton socks to help your feet absorb the lotion.
  2. Dry Them Out: If you go outside without wearing water-resistant boots, your feet may end up feeling cold, damp, or soggy. Remove damp shoes and socks as soon as you get indoors and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on other footwear. This helps your feet warm up and protects against the growth of bacteria and fungi that thrive in moist environments.
  3. Exercise Your Feet: Traveling to exercise may be more challenging when winter weather strikes, but you don’t have to miss out. You can exercise your feet using simple resistance bands, practicing yoga using online tutorial videos, and performing important foot exercises to relieve symptoms of bunions, pain from plantar fasciitis, and more.
  4. Keep Nails Trimmed: When your feet aren’t on display like they are during warm months, it’s easy to forget trimming and grooming toenails. Longer toenails can crack or break so it’s important to keep them maintained. If you have difficulty doing this yourself, you can ask your podiatrist to do it or see if there are any upcoming foot care clinics at your local senior center.
  5. Upgrade Your Footwear: Wearing thick wool socks can make your footwear feel too tight. When your footwear is too tight or too loose, it can be uncomfortable and even increase your risk of falling. For winter, invest in shoes with a deep, wide toe box that can accommodate your thicker socks. Keep in mind that traction on the sole is great for outdoor activities, while smooth bottoms are needed indoors to help keep you from slipping.

Approximately 25% of seniors live with diabetes, and for them, foot care is even more important to improve circulation. If you suffer from diabetes, talk with your doctor about keeping your feet healthy and pain-free this winter.

Follow these tips from Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA and enjoy the outdoors this winter. If you are experiencing any issues with your feet or ankles – don’t hesitate – call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to make an appointment or click here to schedule a consultation online.

 

 

8 Tips to Keep Your Feet Warm on a Cold Weather Walk

Let’s face it, there’s more to the winter walking experience than just getting on the treadmill. While your feet can get quite cold, you don’t have to let it keep you indoors this winter. Protect your feet in cold weather with these tips from Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists.

  1. Wear shoes that are less-breathable. Make the switch to trail shoes or boots without mesh uppers. You still want shoes that are flexible enough for walking, rather than stiff boots, so you don’t find yourself with foot pain or shin splints.
  2. Double up your socks. The traditional combo for hiking is a moisture-reducing, polypropylene thinner sock with a thicker outer woolen sock. This combination is great for keeping your toes warmer during winter walking.
  3. Use paper to insulate. Tour de France cyclists use paper to make an effective insulator that is disposable. On colder days, fold a paper towel or napkin over the top of your foot, and over and under your toes before putting on your shoe.
  4. Try toe warmers. Toe warmers are single-use and deliver gentle heat for up to six hours. Simply insert them in your shoe above or below your toes. The heat is activated when you open the packet.
  1. Keep your feet dry with sweat-absorbing socks. During cold weather, wet feet equal cold feet. Your feet can sweat even though it’s cold outside, so wear socks that will wick the sweat away from the skin. Avoid cotton socks as they will soak up the sweat.
  2. Repel the rain and snow. Invest in a pair of waterproof shoes. This typically adds $20 or more to the price of the shoe, but it is well worth it.
  3. Plastic wrap keeps cold air out. Tuck a sandwich bag or plastic wrap between the top of your shoe and upper foot to prevent cold air from affecting your toes. It’s thin enough to fit in your shoe without having to change the type of socks you wear.
  4. Pick up the pace. Always start at an easy pace and then pick it up with some intervals of faster walking. Try to choose a route that includes hills or stairs when you start out to get your blood moving.

The colder weather doesn’t have to keep you indoors. Follow these tips from Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists and enjoy the outdoors this winter. If you are experiencing any issues with your feet or ankles – don’t hesitate – call our office today at (425) 455-0936 or click here to schedule a consultation online.

 

Wondering Why Your Heel Hurts?

Unfortunately, heel pain is quite common, but many people make the mistake of thinking that it’s a normal condition. In reality, heel pain is an indication of a problem that should not be neglected. The key to relieving heel pain is pinpointing the problem so it can be dealt with properly. Dr. Hubert Lee with CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is here to help.

When dealing with heel pain, the underlying issue could be any of the following:

  • Plantar fasciitis: If your heel pain is sharp and intense following extended periods of rest, especially first thing in the morning, you probably have a case of plantar fasciitis. This condition is the most common cause of heel pain in adults.
  • Achilles tendinitis: If the pain is felt in the upper back part of the heel and is caused by an overworked Achilles tendon that has become inflamed, you are probably suffering from Achilles tendinitis. This is another very common cause of heel pain.
  • Sever’s disease: When children – especially adolescents – complain of heel pain, Sever’s is often the problem. This is a condition caused by differences in growth rates of the heel bone and Achilles tendon.
  • Haglund’s deformity: Footwear that is too tight can lead to an array of problems, including Haglund’s deformity. In this case, a visible bump will appear on the back of the heel, and pain is felt where the Achilles joins the heel bone.
  • Heel spur: Calcium deposits can build up and turn into a bone spur. When this occurs on the bottom of the foot, it is called a heel spur and it sometimes accompanies plantar fasciitis.
  • There are several small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae used for cushioning in our body. When one of these sacs is in the heel and it becomes inflamed, it is known as bursitis.

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the pain in your heel, thinking it will just go away. It could be the symptom of something much more serious. Trust the expert, Dr. Hubert Lee with CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to determine what is causing your heel pain and provide a solution.  Contact us today for an appointment.