During the Summer months when we are wearing sandals, flip- flops or go barefoot, we think about and take care of our feet. During the Winter months we wrap them up and hide them away. However, our feet still need a little care and attention. Here are our top seasonal tips...
1. Eat Well
Just like your skin and hair, your nails will become dry and weak if you're not getting all the right nutrients. Make sure you eat a varied and nutritious diet. If you feel your diet is lacking in any way, try taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Keeping hydrated internally helps the entire body, including nails, so remember to drink lots of tap or bottled water, herbal teas and natural fruit juices.
Keep the muscles and blood vessels to your feet in good condition by walking as much as possible. Do simple exercises such as stretching your ankles by pointing your toes and then bringing them back towards your face.
4. Foot Soaks
Let your feet soak in warm water for 10 - 15 minutes, make sure the water isn't too hot as this will increase dry skin. Add a nice smelling aromatherapy oil or Epsom Salts to soothe the feet.
After your feet have soaked, use a pumice stone to smooth out any dry or flaky areas.
5. Check For Signs of Fungus
If your feet are itchy or there is peeling between the toes, it may be a sign of athlete's foot (a fungal skin infection).
Wash and thoroughly dry between the toes and use an antifungal cream or ointment - a good product is the Lamisil range.
6. Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise!
Colder temperatures and lower humidity (from indoor heat) dry out your skin. Neglected dry skin can quickly turn into painful, cracked and bleeding skin.
Restore the natural oils by using a high quality moisturising foot cream or petroleum jelly.
7. Wear Proper Fitting Shoes
Buy shoes and boots that fit. Winter footwear should offer comfort and arch support. Have your feet measured before each footwear purchase, while there is a standard measurement, sizing does still vary by brand. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size. You want at least a thumb's width between the end of your shoes and your toes.
Well fitting shoes worn with the right socks rarely leave blisters on any part of the foot.
8. Wear The Right Socks
New synthetic materials have greatly improved our sock choices for healthy and comfortable feet. Special polyesters and acrylics help wick moisture to keep your feet warm, comfortable and dry, and can even prevent blisters.
Merino wool socks have properties which keep your feet comfortable across a wide range of temperatures.
Above all, look for socks that fit well with your footwear.