Proper foot care is essential throughout the year, but there are some adjustments you can make to your routine based on the season. Summer and winter bring unique challenges for our feet. In the summer, there is a higher rate of fungal infections, blisters, and heel pain from wearing the wrong footwear. In the winter, there is a risk of dry skin and chilblains, which cause swelling of the toes.
In this article, we will provide some seasonal foot care tips for the summer and winter. We will also share where you can go in San Antonio for high quality foot care.
Summer Foot Care Tips
Summer means dealing with higher temperatures and more sunlight. Below are summer foot care tips:
- Wear breathable footwear – When spending time outdoors on hot days, wear sandals, open-toed shoes, or mesh sneakers to allow your feet to breathe and prevent excessive sweating and odor. Do not neglect features such as arch support and shock absorption when choosing summer footwear.
- Apply sunscreen – The skin on your feet also needs UV protection. Protect your feet by applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep feet clean and dry – After swimming or prolonged periods of sweating, make sure to thoroughly dry your feet to prevent fungal infections, like athlete’s foot.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks – The higher temperatures during summer make feet sweat a lot more than usual. Choose socks made of materials like cotton or bamboo that help absorb sweat and keep your feet dry.
- Use foot powder – Sprinkle some foot powder in your shoes to reduce moisture and prevent unpleasant odors. This is a great preventive measure against fungal infections.
- Give your feet a break – Summer usually means spending a lot of time outdoors. Take regular breaks if you spend extended periods standing or walking outside to prevent foot fatigue.
- Avoid going barefoot in public areas – Protect your feet from potential infections by wearing flip flops or water shoes in public and communal areas. However, flip flops are not the best type of footwear for regular use, so save them for minimal walking activities.
Winter Foot Care Tips
Winter brings cooler temperatures and a harsher environment for the skin. Below are winter foot care tips:
- Moisturize daily – Cold weather can lead to dry and cracked skin. Apply a thick, moisturizing cream or petroleum jelly to keep your feet hydrated. Petroleum jelly locks in moisture, so apply it while skin is damp or over moisturizing lotion or cream.
- Wear warm, insulated footwear – Choose boots that provide insulation and protect your feet from the cold temperatures. Chilblains are blisters that form on the toes as a reaction to cold temperatures.
- Check your footwear – Your winter shoes should be the right size – not too snug and not too loose. You need support and stability especially when engaging in winter recreational activities.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks – Just like in the summer, opt for socks that help absorb sweat and keep your feet dry. You may need thicker socks in the winter.
- Protect your feet from wet conditions – If it snows, use waterproof shoes to create a barrier against moisture created by snow or slush.
- Avoid extremely hot water – While it is very tempting to use really warm water when bathing or showering, this can dry out your skin. When warming up your feet, use lukewarm water instead of hot water, and avoid staying in the bath too long.
- Treat your feet to warm soaks – If you’ve had a particularly active day or night outdoors, give your feet a relaxing warm soak with Epsom salt to soothe tired muscles and improve circulation. Keep foot soaking time to 15 minutes.
- Keep nails trimmed – Regularly trim your toenails to prevent ingrown nails, which can be more common during the winter when feet are often confined in tight-fitting footwear.
- Stay active – Engage in regular foot exercises and stretches to improve blood circulation and keep your feet strong and flexible. Lower temperatures may make it more challenging to remain active, but it is still necessary during the cold winter months.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme cold – Even with the right gear, you should try to limit your time outdoors in frigid temperatures to prevent frostbite and other cold-related foot problems.
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water to maintain proper hydration, as dehydration can occur even in cold weather.
Podiatry Clinic in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak, TX
The highly skilled podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas can address all your foot issues. In addition to comprehensive treatment, we provide individualized recommendations to help keep your feet healthy during all seasons.
To schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle doctors, call our podiatry clinic nearest you or use our online form. We look forward to giving you the highest quality foot care services in South Texas.