Taking care of your feet in the winter

Winter is in full swing with no signs of letting up. Although it is always chilly outside, abnormally cold feet with skin changes is not normal and should be checked out. If you notice any color changes in your feet or aching in your joints it could be a sign of disruption in your blood flow or an arthritic condition.

Dried or “ashy” feet may also become an issue. Sometimes it is due to the dry, cold atmosphere that is typical of winter months, however other times it can be due to diabetes, circulatory or a thyroid condition. It is always a good idea to wear thick cotton or wool socks and keep your feet nice and clean. Proper moisturizing is also important and can be purchased over the counter. However, in some cases, a prescription is required. Signs and symptoms of dry feet can present with but not limited to itchiness, redness, rough skin, flaky skin, peeling skin, a rash, which can worsen in winter months.  If the skin continues to be a problem and becomes more painful and tender, other issue may be considered, that’s why it is important for you to follow up with your podiatrist for a comprehensive foot evaluation. 

Diabetics have a more serious issue that causes dry feet.  This is due to problems with their nerves called peripheral neuropathy which can cause numbness in your feet.  Your skin may be dry and cracked because of your diabetes, which will damage the sweat glands in your feet.  A deep crack called a fissure can be very painful and makes it easier for bacteria to get in through yours skin which can cause an infection.  To help prevent problems be sure to use a heavy cream on the bottoms of the feet rather than lotion.  Always apply after bathing while the skin is damp so the cream can penetrate better.  If your skin continues to stay dry you can use a piece of plastic wrap to place over the cream on your foot and hold it in place with a sock when you sleep at night to help the cream be more affective.  If your feet continue to have problems there may be some other cause other than “dry” skin.  If you are having these problems call us to make an appointment to be evaluated further.  Sometimes it is necessary to take a culture or specimen of the skin to evaluate it for other causes.  

Dr. Theall’s office at Gentle Touch Foot Care is a unique experience because of his expertise in treating a wide variety of skin conditions in the lower extremity.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 – 3668.  Remember to always support your feet .