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Stay on Top of Foot Care This Winter

Even though your feet won’t be on display as much during the winter months, don’t skimp on the time you devote to foot care. Feet often need more attention during the winter than
the summer.

“Feet tend to sweat more in the winter because they are enclosed in heavy socks and boots,” says Thi Pham, D.P.M., podiatrist on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro. “Excess sweat can lead to conditions including fungal infections, plantar warts and calluses.”

Pham explains that it is important to keep your feet dry and clean during the winter months. Changing your socks regularly and adding a dash of foot powder can help do the trick. In addition, it’s helpful to spray your feet and shoes with an antifungal spray once a week to prevent conditions like athlete’s foot.

The cold winter months also cause feet to dry and crack, often leading to open sores that take time to heal. The lack of moisture in the air dries the skin, and heavy footwear prohibits dead skin from shedding.

“You can prevent dry, cracked feet by using a moisturizer or Vaseline,” Pham says. “Apply the moisturizer twice a day — once in the morning before you put your shoes on and once at night before you go to bed. In addition, use a pumice stone to remove dead skin.”

Put the Hop Back in Your Step

Other foot problems can occur any time of the year and should not be ignored.

Corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, injuries, infections, arch problems and circulation issues associated with diabetes can all be treated by a podiatrist, who may prescribe medication, order physical therapy or perform surgery.

Your physician also can provide you with corrective shoe inserts called orthotics and create custom-made shoes.

“Most conditions and concerns can be easily taken care of if caught early enough,” Pham says. “But even an ingrown toenail can be dangerous if it’s not treated in a timely manner. Your feet are what hold you up — don’t forget how important they are, especially during the winter.”

For more information about podiatry services offered at Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro, call 1-800-4-Presby (1-800-477-3729).

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