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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.