The dry winter air can be damaging to skin all over the body – and that includes the feet. Not only are feet vulnerable to dry and cold weather, but they’re also constantly wrapped in socks and tight winter shoes, which can cause even more foot issues. Take a look at these ways to keep your feet moisturized and healthy this winter:
Wear appropriate footwear
It should go without saying, but it’s important to wear winter boots and other closed-toe shoes over the colder months to keep feet warm and healthy. However, keeping feet in tight boots for hours can actually cause damage like calluses, blisters and painful chafing on the skin in the area. To help alleviate these symptoms, make sure to wear boots and shoes that fit exactly right, and aren’t too tight or too loose. Cotton socks are the best choice in winter because they allow the skin to breathe and keep natural moisture contained more than other synthetic fabrics do, but you can also wear wool socks to keep feet warm.
Exercise your feet
Blood doesn’t circulate as easily into your hands and feet, since they’re the furthest from your heart. In cold weather, they get even less circulation, which can leave them without some nutrients and very cold. To get the blood moving in your feet, perform exercises daily like ankle rolls and toe point and flex movements. This will help get the blood pumping into the area, and help the feet and skin stay healthy.
If you experience a lot of calluses or thick patches of dry skin, you may want to start soaking your feet to help get rid of them. Dry patches leave the skin unable to pick up any topical nutrients you apply. The dry, dead skin is a lot easier to slough off after a soak using a gentle exfoliant or a pumice stone. Since hot water can add to your skin’s dryness, make sure the water is warm or lukewarm. Adding a 1/2 cup of Epsom salts can ease your sore or aching feet. A few drops of essential oils can also help alleviate some of the dryness and keep your feet moisturized after the soak.
Pick up a moisturizer that’s specifically designed to heal the skin on feet for best results. Make sure you’re moisturizing right after a soak or shower while your skin is still damp, which allows the product to penetrate deeper, leaving the skin moisturized and healthier.
Wrap them overnight
If soaks aren’t healing your dry skin or cracked heels completely, you may want to consider moisturizing your feet overnight. Exfoliate, then use moisturizer or petroleum jelly and immediately throw on a pair of socks. The socks will help contain the treatment and your feet’s natural oils, healing the skin overnight.
Keep nails groomed
Even though fewer people are going to be seeing your nails over the winter, proper nail care is important for preventing ingrown toenails and keeping the nails and feet healthy. Continue to get pedicures, clip nails regularly at home and keep cuticles pushed back.If you’re interested in learning more about professional treatments for feet, hands and nails, consider enrolling in nail technician training.