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Winter foot care mistakes with Levittown Podiatry, NYIt’s winter in Levittown and much of the country will be trying to stay warm. While people usually take care of the upper parts of their bodies by wearing heavy jackets, hats, and gloves and some lower parts by wearing thick pants, they often treat their feet like an afterthought. 


They remember, though, when their feet start hurting or worse. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a bunch of things they do wrong - and correcting them is not time-consuming at all. 


If these same people avoid making these mistakes, the winter should be really easy on their feet.


Not Moisturizing Feet Properly


Just like one’s lips and hands, people’s feet can get very dry over the course of the winter. This is because the heat in their place is usually very high because of either a radiator or a fireplace. It’s important to moisturize one’s feet like they would their hands and lips lest the skin cracks and things get very uncomfortable.


In this same vein, feet can sweat a lot inside the boots and this can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It might be good to put baby powder on their feet in the morning before putting on the boots so that the moisture can be absorbed. 


Not Switching Out of Winter Boots


It’s tempting to just leave the winter boots on at work. After all, it took 10 minutes of grunting and pulling just to get the things on, right? Why have to go through all that exertion when getting ready to leave? Very bad idea. 


Once inside, it’s extremely prudent to switch to regular shoes. Otherwise, keeping the winter boots on can cause people’s feet to get sweaty, which then can lead to bacteria growing on the skin. It’s also a good idea to turn the boot upside down once inside so that any moisture can drain out. 


Wearing Ill-Fitting Boots


Don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion. WInter boots should fit comfortably - and allow for extended walking outside. People wear poorly-fitting shoes that put feet into uncomfortable positions in the name of looking good. It’s cold outside - the vast majority of those out and about are not going to be playing fashion judges.


Also, because of things like dry skin, those boots can cause everything from blisters to cuts on the feet to infection. This is the time of year to really pay attention to how their boots feel and adjust accordingly.


Not Replacing Old Boots


The reason for this may be because people don’t want to spend money on new boots, figuring they can get a lot of wear on them. The only way this is a good move is if they live in an area where there is not a lot of snow. Otherwise, the boots will crack from wear and tear, allowing cold air and wet snow or rain to get in, which defeats the purpose.


Also, contrary to popular belief, adult feet don’t stop growing. Feet can change size, and it’s very uncomfortable to wear boots that are a fraction too snug. Replace the boots.


Rushing To Warm Cold Feet


It makes sense to wriggle out of one’s boots or shoes and then immediately stick them under a nice stream of hot water, right? Not so fast - doing that can lead to 


This is an especially crucial time of year for diabetics, since the circulation around their feet is cut off enough as it is and the cold can’t help. They should inspect their feet every day, wear proper shoes that don’t rub or cut and also keep their feet dry at the same time.


Also, wear the proper footwear. If it’s really cold and there’s snow on the ground, don’t try to get through with sneakers. They are going to get soaked and open up the possibility of frostbite - which would make the season quite miserable indeed.


Lastly - if people’s feet are not improving despite doing the above, it’s best to go see a doctor to ensure that there is no underlying cause - like diabetes, an underactive thyroid, or Reynaud’s. 


This piece is not meant to bash the upcoming season. There are people who love winter - which is fine for them. These tips should make it at least tolerable for you and your feet.


Dr. John J Hickey has seen many different kinds of winter foot care snafus over the course of his career as a podiatrist at Levittown Podiatry. He will be glad to discuss proper care at your next appointment - 516-735-4545.


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Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545