Imagine this: you had a long day at work that was followed by walking the five blocks from your office to your car though the blistery snow. You take off your coat, toss your scarf onto a nearby chair and sit back on the bed to pull off your boots and damp socks. What do you see underneath? If you’re anything like me, the scene can be unsightly. Cracked heels, flaky skin, yellowed nails . . . all signs of unhealthy feet. Ah yes, winter is not too kind to our skin, and our feet often suffer the most. What steps can you take to prevent this?
Make sure your feet are clean. We recommend soaking your feet in warm water and following this up with a dry scrub to remove dead skin cells. A popular tool is the pumice stone, which effectively smoothes calluses and cracks and minimizes corns. Make sure to maintain your toenails and to wipe under the surface to prevent a buildup of gunk and dirt.
Keep your feet moisturized. The first step to this is to drink plenty of water; this not only helps to flush the system, but it keeps your body’s organs healthy, including its largest: your skin. When you don’t receive enough fluid, your skin becomes dry and flaky, and during the winter months, you might need more than just water to keep your feet moist. Consider applying a quick absorbing cream to keep them soft and nourished.
Cotton Over Wool
Switch from cotton to wool when buying socks. Not all moisture is good for your feet, as sweat is a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria and fungi to build up. Not only is wool warm, but it also absorbs the perspiration instead of trapping it in, like cotton. Invest in quality outdoor shoes that are waterproof against the snow. However . . .
Let Them Breathe
Don’t forget to let your feet also breath! Resist the urge to keep your feet bundled during the cold weather and plod about the house barefoot occasionally. Not only does this give your muscles the chance to stretch out, but it also allows them to receive fresh air. And, just like your feet and skin, need oxygen, so do your nails. Give your feet a well-earned break from polish during this season, as polish contains chemicals that, after extended periods of consistent usage, can lead to unsightly fungus. Perchance, if you already have discolored or cracked nails, do not attempt to mask it as this will worsen the problem and potentially lead to infection. When on a hot date on a cold night, consider other ways to gift your toes, like with accessories and flirty toe rings.
So there you have it; some simple but important steps you can take to making sure your toes and skin are healthy and happy during this upcoming winter. After all, just because they’re tucked into boots doesn’t mean that caring for your feet is any less important.
About the Guest Author: Evelon Kountz loves to freelance about exercise, healthy eating and natural living. Though she has traveled all over the US and Canada, she currently resides in Empire, Michigan with her adorable boyfriend Jay and their loyal bulldog terrier, Ernie.