Our feet tend to be at the bottom of our priorities list during the winter. After all, unlike the barefoot days of summer, we tend to wear warm, fuzzy socks throughout the cool winter months to keep our toes toasty. But according to Columbia, TN-based foot and ankle doctor Dr. Danielle Malin, our feet need special treatment throughout the holiday season.
Dr. Malin explains that there is a laundry list of reasons that people should prioritize their podiatric needs during the winter. First, and specific to older adults, feet can dry out as the body’s natural oil production starts to wane and the skin gets thinner. This can cause the feet to lose their natural moisture quicker, especially during cold weather. Feet are also more likely to get calluses, cracked skin between the toes, and tiny fissures all over with age.
The foot and ankle doctor also notes that many people thought the Columbia area are more prone to fungal infections during the winter. This is because of the aforementioned time in socks. People with certain conditions, like Raynaud’s syndrome, may have further complications thanks to decreased blood flow and inflammation.
While we tend to think of pedicures as the ultimate in self-care, winter is the perfect time to ditch the nail polish. Instead, Dr. Malin recommends keeping the feet moisturized at night but dry and clean during the day. Most podiatrists recommend water-based moisturizers and caution against harsh exfoliants. If possible, Dr. Malin says to use a foot file to gently scrub away calloused or cracked skin; she further reminds her patients to exfoliate in a single direction, not in a back-and-forth motion, to avoid ripping the skin. She also recommends wearing boots and slippers with arch support.
When Should You See A Foot And Ankle Doctor?
While many common concerns, such as dry, cracked skin, can be exfoliated and moisturized at home, there are some instances when it makes sense to call your podiatrist. If your feet start to bleed, you notice nail damage, experience unusual pain, or suspect a fungal infection, or if you notice more foot odor than normal, a quick visit to Dr. Malin’s office in Columbia, TN, can help get you squared away so that you can enjoy healthy feet all season long.
Dr. Danielle Malin is a foot and ankle doctor (podiatrist) that specializes in foot and ankle pain, Achilles tendinitis, pediatric podiatry, and more. For more information, visit Premier Foot & Ankle online.