Did you know that each of our feet contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 120 muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves?
In the winter, that complex foot system takes on extra pressure, often leading to specific winter foot problems. Cold weather leads to weakened skin and circulatory problems, making our feet more susceptible to infection and injury.
Prevention is important when it comes to foot problems. There are some simple steps we can all take to avoid common winter foot conditions, and how to take quick action if one develops.
Keep reading to learn all about the most common winter foot ailments.
Winter is the time of year when blisters on our feet become a common occurrence. A blister is a fluid-filled bubble that develops on the skin through repetitive, forceful rubbing and friction. Often blisters develop because of ill-fitting shoes or socks.
One way of preventing foot blisters is to make sure that your shoes and boots are the right sizes. Shoes that are too big or too small create friction against the skin, making blisters more likely.
2. Raynaud's Phenomenon
Raynaud's Phenomenon is a condition that causes decreased blood flow to the extremities, including your feet and toes. It occurs when a person is exposed to cold temperatures, and the small blood vessels constrict, limiting blood flow to fingers and toes. This leads to pain, blisters, and skin that turns white, red, blue, or purple.
To prevent Raynaud's Phenomenon, make sure you bundle up in cold temperatures and wear proper winter footwear including winter running shoes. If you feel your feet begin to feel numb, head indoors and warm up. You could also try to improve your circulation with regular exercise.
Chilblains may occur with sudden temperature changes. The blood vessels in your feet constrict in cold temperatures and, with chilblains, don't adjust to let the blood vessels time to react.
Often showing up on the toes, chilblains appear as red, itchy, and swollen red spots. They are common in people with poor circulation.
To prevent this common winter ailment, limit your exposure to cold temperatures and try not to go from cold to warm temperatures too quickly.
4. Morton's Neuroma
Morton's Neuroma is a winter foot condition that occurs when tight-fitting shoes or socks push tissue and bones against your nerves. This may cause numbness, pain, and tingling sensations in the toes or balls of your feet.
To prevent Morton's Neuroma, avoid wearing tight or high-heeled shoes for too long, sticking with shoes that don't narrow too much at the toes. Make sure your shoes are well-fitting and include sufficient cushioning and arch support as protection for your feet.
5. Athlete's Foot
Many people think that athlete's foot only occurs during warmer weather, but moisture-trapping winter footwear is one of the causes of athlete’s foot spreading to other parts of your feet.
Treatment for athlete's foot begins with good personal hygiene, by washing your feet daily. Apply foot powder to your feet and wear socks made of breathable fibers.
If the athlete's foot persists, there are oral medications and antifungal ointments, gels, or sprays that may help.
Winter Foot Conditions
With the knowledge of the most common winter foot conditions, you can take steps towards caring for your feet, improving foot health, and avoiding serious foot problems. In the winter, try to keep your feet as warm as possible and wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes.
At Apex, we make foot care a priority. We offer a wide range of foot products, including shoes, socks, orthotics, and more. Check out our online store today!