As the days start to become colder and shorter, it may be time to swap your sandals for warm socks and boots! Now, although your feet will be hidden away for the next several months, this is not the time to take a break on regular foot care. Yes, your feet may feel cosy, but they’re also poorly ventilated causing them to become dry and itchy. Also, when feet are enclosed in heavy socks and shoes, they tend to sweat more, which can lead to fungal infections. Central heating can also dry out the skin and nails.
We have put together some tips for taking care of your feet and nails in the colder months:
Soak your Feet
A good foot soak is the basis of any foot care regime because not only will the heated water help soothe your chilly autumn feet, keeping them soft and smooth, but it can also be a brilliant way to relax. What better way to brush away the stresses of a busy day?
Keep your feet Clean and Dry
It’s very important in the colder months to clean your feet daily. Make sure to dry them well, especially between the toes and under the arch. If you are sitting in a warm office all day and your feet sweat a little, take a few minutes to rub some alcohol hand gel into the skin and let it evaporate before reapplying shoes and socks. This takes away the sweat.
To make sure that dead skin is removed from the foot, you may want to pumice your feet as needed or see a podiatrist for hard skin removal.
To keep your feet from drying out, we advise moisturising the feet once or twice a day, especially around the heels and sides of the foot. The cold weather may tempt you to take a scalding hot shower, but the hot water can damage and dry out the skin. Instead, use warm water, then pat your feet dry and apply moisturiser. Be careful not to moisturise the nails or the area between the toes too heavily, as that may create an inviting environment for fungus.
Take a Nail Polish Break
In Autumn, your toenails aren’t constantly on display in flip flops and sandals like they are in the summer. Regularly applying polish to the nails can be unhealthy for them, so this is the perfect time to give your toenails a break.
Shoes and Socks
Germs such as fungal spores and bacteria stay in shoes and socks for a while. Even washing socks at 40 degrees may not kill off the germs so wash socks and hosiery at 60 degrees. If you are prone to fungal infections it may also be an idea to sterilise your shoes after every wear with an antifungal spray or ultra-violet light shoe sanitiser.
Nail fungal infections usually appear as a yellow or brownish discoloration of the toenail and can become thick and disfigured. If you are worried about your nails please contact us and we would be more than happy to advise you further.