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Winter Feet: A Podiatrist’s Guide To Super Soft Skin This A/w Season

During lockdown, we’ve become familiar with a new footwear trend: the house shoe! However, the change of the seasons and the return to a “new normal” will bring an end to the freedom of flip flops, slippers or even going barefoot whilst WFH! While our shoe style will need to adapt (out come the winter boots!) it shouldn’t mean that we neglect our footcare routines. And when you do get your feet out – whether you’re padding around at home on a self-care Sunday or you’re going barefoot for a yoga or pilates session – it pays to keep your feet soft, supple and healthy.

 

Luckily for us, expert podiatrist Dina Gohil, Founder & MD of DG Podiatrist Ltd, (BSc (Hons) MChS, HCPC Reg.), is here to help with her top tips to keep your feet healthy this winter.

 

  1. Ditch dry skin: 

 

Dry skin occurs particularly in colder weather, so in winter our skin can really suffer! Cracked heels are a common problem in winter months, with the lack of moisture causing the skin to become fragile and break. This can be extremely painful! 75% of people suffer from cracked heels – and extra special care needs to be taken to help keep this dryness at bay and help the skin to feel softer.

 

Foot heel balms are a popular choice as they provide more intensive care to repair the skin. CCS Heel Balm contains 25% urea and lactic acid which exfoliates, softens and moisturises the skin, helping to repair cracked or dry heels. It’s been used by podiatrists for over 40 years!

Results can be visible as early as three days after use.

 

  1. Pause the polish: 

 

Now that summer has come to an end it’s the perfect time to give your toes a break from nail polish. Most of us will be shelving our flip flops and sandals for the next few months and swapping them for warm woolly socks and slippers.

 

Toenails can soak up substances such as nail varnish which cause the nail to dry out. When this happens, fungus, yeast, and bacteria can form underneath the nail polish that sits on the nail which can cause some serious issues such as verrucas and fungal nail infections. So, in winter it’s important to be kind to your toenails by letting them breathe and keeping them polish-free for the majority of the time. Then, you can glam-up with a spiced-berry or gold-sparkle nail polish for festive nights out.

 

  1. Manage the moisture: 

 

Fine films of water and lipids cover the skin as a protective barrier which keeps your skin soft. Without the correct balance of moisture on your skin softness can fade. In winter most people tend to wear extra thick socks in heavier duty boots or shoes. This will cause your feet to sweat naturally creating a damp, warm environment in which bacteria can thrive.

 

Moisturising foot cream and exfoliating socks can help to prevent and relieve cracked dry heels. CCS Foot Care Cream contains natural ingredients such as Urea, a naturally occurring moisturiser in the human body. Urea effectively softens, moisturises and improves the skin’s protective barrier to help revitalise dry cracked skin.

 

  1. Weatherproof your fitness wear!  

 

Even when the clocks go back, keeping fit in nature is still possible – it’s all about choosing the right gear! If you’re walking, running or cycling, your footwear choice is essential. Although this seems obvious, give your feet space and wear shoes that fit to avoid common but painful problems such as blisters, corns and calluses. Here are some signs that could indicate that your shoes are the wrong size:

 

– Do your feet slide back and forth while you walk?

– Are you suffering from regular blisters or toenail damage?

– Is your foot bruised or the skin irritated or itchy?

 

Running shoes are designed to let heat escape, but in chilly weather the cold comes right in. So, to keep your feet warm and dry, make sure to use a waterproof treatment on your shoes, wear good quality sports socks and dry out trainers after use in really wet and muddy conditions. Perspiration and damp conditions can lead to foot problems such as fungal skin infections, which can cause the skin to crack, flake, blister and itch. In toenails, fungal infections can cause the nail to become brittle, discoloured or even lift off. At-home products such as Nailner not only treat the infection, but also improve the appearance of the affected nail.

 

  1. Don’t get your feet in hot water (too often!)

 

Who doesn’t love a long hot bubble bath after a cold winter’s day? However, be careful of overindulging, as excessively hot water tends to strip your skin of its natural protective oils which can lead to dry skin. So, alternative with a warm water soak for your feet to reduce the removal of natural oils and help them to regain their normal temperature gradually.

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