The Winter Athlete's Guide To Footcare

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Dec 27, 2018 11:03 PM EST

Winter is not only known for symbolizing Christmas, family gatherings, and lovely vacations. It is also the time for skiing, ice-skating, snow-shoeing and other winter sports, which, when proper precautions aren't taken, can result in foot-related ailments. Some people who have ailments seemingly unrelated to the feet - such as Diabetes or other peripheral arterial diseases - are more prone to running into foot problems.

In this article, different kind of foot ailments and how to treat them will be featured:

The most common winter foot ailment during the cold weather, especially among men, is Cracked Heels or the dry skin in the heels, which make them appear cracked. Treating this issue sometimes requires nothing more than moisturizing cream.

In other cases, the use of a pumice stone is recommended. Pumice stones reduce the thickness of calluses and hard skin that develops on the heels. However, pumice stones must not be used if the patient has diabetes.

Athlete's foot is also common during the winter season, especially when there's a lot of all-cotton or all-wool socks used beneath the shoes. Most foot specialists recommend treating athlete's foot with antifungal products, but if you're especially concerned and want to see someone in person, the folks at Feet First Clinic are second to none. Washing socks and towels in the hottest water possible is also recommended.

Problems with gait abnormality are also not unheard during winter, especially if you're going on long hikes in the snow with a heel strike or flat feet. Complaints about this condition are always accompanied with foot pains and problem in walking - it can also manifest as pain the in knees and back. Gait abnormality is sometimes associated with patients who have diabetes because of diabetic neuropathy, which, if failed to be diagnosed, can result in foot ulcers and severe health issues.

Gait abnormality can be treated by using high-quality orthotics footwear in the form of inserts that fit shoes to help correct the current condition that causes the imbalance. There's a lot of orthotic types available, but the best ones are made with thermoplastics, which soften when heated and harden when cooled. Polypropylene and leather are also used for Orthotics in certain cases.

Physical pain can also occur because of compromised blood circulation due to the cold weather. To improve blood circulation, wearing Sigvaris brand compression stockings is a good idea. Compression stockings are specialized stockings that apply graduated pressure in the lower legs to maintain blood flow and reduce swelling. Compression stockings can also help in venous disorders such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. Just like normal stockings, compression stockings come in different sizes, colors and styles. Typically, compression stockings are replaced every 3 to 6 months.

It should be noted that proper basic hygiene is still the number one answer to prevent acquiring foot problems, especially during the winter season. Wear clean socks and shoes, don't walk barefooted in dirty places, and last but not the least, don't share footwear with another person carelessly. Keep your feet healthy and enjoy a great season of skiing and snowboarding!

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