Top 6 winter foot problems – Umina Podiatry

Top 6 winter foot problems

Ingrowing toenails

Closed in footwear and thick socks can mean much less room for your toes. This extra pressure sometimes means that your toenails dig in to the skin and become painful or even worse. Infected and bleeding toenails require careful treatment to remove the offending piece of nail and allow the skin to heal. You don’t need to put up with this painful condition, and treatment can be carried out using local anaesthetic if necessary.


Chilblains

These painful, itching and sometimes broken areas of skin are caused by a cold injury, and are the mildest form of frostbite! Blood flow in the extremities or pressure areas reduces in the cold to the point that those tissues begin to die. When blood flow returns to those areas they become painful and inflamed. We can advise on management of existing chilblains, and have tips on how to prevent them.


Muscle and Joint pain

Exercising, or even just going about everyday tasks can result in strains and tears if your muscles are not warmed up. Stretches and gentle warm up exercises don’t take long, and get the blood flowing so that you can complete your activities with ease. Blood flow is essential for healing, so it’s important to keep moving to promote peripheral circulation.


Tinea or fungal infections

Having your feet enclosed in socks and winter footwear creates an ideal environment for fungal infections to thrive. Be sure to wash and dry between your toes carefully, change your socks daily, and alternate your footwear if possible. Dry flaking skin can be a sign of early fungal infection, so if your moisturisers are not helping you could try an antifungal ointment.


Corns and calluses

These areas of thick hard skin can become painful, and even develop into blisters and wounds. Usually caused by pressure from footwear, we treat them by gently removing the excess skin, then addressing the cause of the pressure. Special padding or insoles can make a big difference to your comfort and mobility.

Winter sports

If you love your footy, or getting onto the netball court, then you know all about early morning starts and winter weekends outdoors. Likewise, if snow sports are your thing, you don’t want to miss valuable time on the slopes because of foot problems. It’s also a great time for bushwalking whilst conditions are dry and not too hot.

Make sure your boots or shoes are the right fit, and in good condition. Worn linings or broken insoles can cause blisters and wounds. Stop and treat hotspots before they become blisters.