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.

 

Keep Your Feet Happy This Holiday Season

Tips to keep feet happy this holiday season

Holiday shopping, decorating, parties and traveling are all part of our holiday revelries. But while you’re making all that merriment, how happy are your feet?

You may be doing a lot of walking, dancing, standing, and sitting in one position throughout the holiday season. “Half of all Americans report experiencing foot pain at some point in their lives, according to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA),” says Hubert Lee, DPM, a podiatrist at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists and APMA member. “No one wants soreness or injuries to slow them down during the holidays, so it’s important to care for your feet so they can carry you through all those seasonal celebrations and chores.”

APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy (and happy) this holiday season:

  • Moisturize—Dry winter air and cold temperatures can take a toll on skin. Moisturize feet daily to help avoid dry, cracked, and irritated skin.
  • Exercise your feet—Stretching is a good way to avoid muscle cramps. Stave off toe cramps by raising, pointing, and curling your toes for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Rotating your ankles can also help relax feet. Cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times to loosen ankle joints.
  • Massage—Foot rubs not only feel good, but they’re also a great way to release tension, boost circulation, and refresh skin after a long day on your feet. Take a few minutes to massage your feet at the end of a day of shopping and celebrating. Use lotion and take care of moisturizing at the same time!
  • Pedicure properly—Picture-perfect toes are part of a great holiday wardrobe for many women. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, be sure your pedicure is done properly. “Never use a razor to remove dead skin—opt for a good pumice stone instead,” says Dr. Lee. Don’t cut cuticles; push them back gently with a rubber tool made for this purpose. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to cut nails straight across.
  • Raise your legs—Feet and ankles can swell from sitting too long in one position (taking a long flight to grandma’s house for the holidays, for example) or if you’ve been on your feet all day (shopping, baking, or cooking). Elevate your legs to reduce swelling. Lie down or sit and lift your legs above your heart.
  • Wear smart shoes—Okay, so you’ll never give up your sparkly high heels when it’s time for that special soiree. But for other holiday activities such as shopping, traveling, or cooking, ditch the high heels. When you know you’ll be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and a padded sole. See which types of footwear have received the APMA Seal of Acceptance for promoting foot health by visiting www.apma.org/seal.

Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time. “Persistent foot pain can be an indication of injury, irritation, or illness,” Dr. Lee adds. “See a podiatrist if you experience pain; don’t wait until the holidays end!”

Hubert Lee, DPM, FACFAOM is a podiatrist at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, Washington.  Call (425) 455-0936 or visit bellevuefootdoctor.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.