Winter is quickly approaching, and you know what that means – ice, snow and harsh winter weather liable to trip you up. Unfortunately, while winter is home to many popular holidays, it’s also full of rough weather that can lead to injuries or worsening health issues. This is especially true of foot health issues – slips and falls can increase the odds of injury, and many people experience more foot pain during colder weather. Here are a few common foot health problems that worsen or become more common during the coldest months that you should be on the lookout for this winter.
With icy weather on the rise in the colder months, injuries from slipping and falling tend to be more common. Uneven footing or improper footwear leads to people slipping on the ice and snow, possibly causing foot injury. To avoid this health issue during the winter, be sure to wear shoes with good traction and avoid walking on icy, slippery surfaces as much as possible. For proper footwear, look for shoes and boots with deep treads and soles that enable enhanced friction or “grip” against the ground. If you do end up injured, addressing the injury with a podiatrist as soon as possible can keep consequences from getting worse over time.
Diabetic Foot Problems
Many chronic illnesses have symptoms that impact foot health, and these symptoms can worsen in winter. For example, diabetes and prediabetes can both impact circulation to the feet. The American Association of Diabetes Educators estimates 33.9% of the adult U.S population have prediabetes. With reduced circulation to the feet, you could experience numbness, discomfort and discoloration of the feet. Furthermore, in severe, untreated cases decreased circulation as a complication of diabetes can also lead to neuropathy, and even worse, amputation. Talk to your diabetic foot care specialist for advice on how to prevent or handle these symptoms per your specific situation, but generally, bundling up and staying warm can be a good start.
Dry, Cracked Skin
Luckily, some foot health issues are common and don’t necessarily come with major consequences. However, they’re still annoying enough that you’ll want to address them. One cold weather foot health issue that’s fairly common is dry and cracking skin, particularly around the heel. Try to keep skin moisturized and limit direct exposure to cold, dry winter conditions as much as possible.
Winter can worsen a lot of foot health symptoms, but the right medical care can help. For more information on how to prevent or manage winter foot issues, contact the professionals at Dynamic Foot and Ankle today.