There’s no doubt that winter sports can be exciting, whether you’re skiing, simply walking through the snow, or sledding downhill. To help you get the most out of winter activities, today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing (5) foot-related problems you’ll want to guard against this winter.
1. Foot Pain: If you want to remain active during the cold weather months and prevent being sidelined by discomfort or pain, be sure to visit your podiatrist if the pain lasts more than a few days and has no apparent cause.
2. Dry Skin/Cracked Heels: This is one of the most common winter foot problems we see, especially among our male patients. The cracks are unattractive and can be painful when they’re deep enough. The easiest way to help prevent dry skin and cracked heels is to apply moisturizing cream daily, particularly after a shower.
Additionally, boots or shoes with solid heel counters can help avoid heel cracks, as can padded socks that protect the heel from impacts that may elevate the pressure in the heel area. If you notice hard skin or calluses on the heels, use a pumice stone to file them down.
3. Fractures: Regardless of what winter sport you participate in, you must properly train before beginning so you can uphold good form and reduce the chances of falling and slipping. Skaters, snowboarders, and skiers are particularly prone to mishaps that may cause a fractured ankle. Walking or running on uneven surfaces, especially those with ice patches, also increases the danger of a foot fracture.
Wearing padded socks with correctly fitted shoes or boots can reduce the risk by ensuring that the feet are sufficiently protected. Also, think about using traction devices or ice grips that attach to the bottoms of boots or shoes and help avoid slipping on icy surfaces.
4. Blisters: Two factors make it more likely that you’ll get blisters in the winter. One is winter sports equipment rentals like ski boots or skates. Because it’s often challenging to find the proper fit, if the boot or skate is even just a bit too loose, the friction caused by your foot sliding around can cause a blister to develop. You can help avoid getting blisters by wearing padded socks when wearing loose-fitting rental boots.
5. Athlete’s Foot: Contrary to popular belief, athlete’s foot is not only a problem in the summer. It can also occur in the winter months, especially when layering all-wool or all-cotton socks in your shoes, which creates a breeding ground for sweaty feet that can’t breathe. Avoid this issue by wearing socks made of acrylic or acrylic-wool blends, which remove moisture from toes and feet. Removing excess dampness is also important for those who run in cold winter conditions or anyone who participates in high-impact outdoor activities.
If you’re noticing symptoms of any of these conditions - or any other - problems with your feet, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to help identify the issue. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.