7 Tips for Winter Foot Care
While it may seem like a great time of year to relax your foot care regimen (it’s boot season, after all!), the winter months can actually cause problems if you don’t take care. Read on for a list of tips to help you maintain healthy hooves all winter long.
By Katie Faulkner
1. Keep your toenails clean.
During winter months as you layer on socks, tights, shoes, and the like, buildup can accumulate under toenails. This collection of dead skin, soap, lint, and other debris is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. To lift out debris, gently scrub your nails using a soft-bristled toothbrush after a warm shower.
2. Let your toenails breathe.
Be sure to remove your polish regularly and apply a fresh coat – or leave your nails natural on occasion – in order to help regulate bacteria and fungi that could be lurking under layers of old polish.
3. Moisturize and sanitize.
Look for nail oils with built-in anti-fungal properties (like tea tree oil) that can also lend moisture to damaged nails.
4. Warm up and improve circulation.
A great way to care for your feet is to rub them often, with or without lotion. If they’re cold, rubbing your feet is an effective way to warm them up, and it also improves circulation – which can ward off a myriad of other feet troubles.
5. Find the right fit.
Choosing shoes with a spacious toe box (end of the shoe where your toes go) is crucial to foot health. The right fit will prevent bunions, hammer toes, blisters, general discomfort, and much more.
6. Remove dead and dry skin.
For dry skin, simple exfoliation treatments can make a major impact. Try rubbing olive oil with course sea salt on your feet vigorously to remove dead skin. Alternatively, using a natural bristle brush to dry brush your feet can provide similar benefits.
7. Stave off complications from sweat.
If you work out, or just sweat a little extra while your feet are wrapped in wool socks, that sweat can cause issues like itchiness, irritation, and athlete’s foot. To counteract these nuisances, soak your feet in warm water with vinegar added for about 10 minutes at a time, then dry them thoroughly.
Having your feet tucked into closed-toe shoes all season means that your pedicure doesn’t have to be on point – but it also means that your feet are easy to neglect. Don’t let common winter problems plague your piggies! Instead, add these seven tips to your foot care arsenal. HS