As your skin begins adjusting to the cooler temperatures, there are several foot care considerations we recommend keeping in mind this fall. The summer months often can dehydrate exposed feet, leaving them dry and prone to possible complications in autumn and winter. To show your feet some needed TLC, we've compiled four foot care tips to keep them healthy and strong all season long.
1. Moisturize and exfoliate.
Dry skin may make your feet split, which can lead to painful fissures and infection. Cold fall air often has less moisture in it than warm summer air, making it extra important to moisturize and exfoliate on a regular basis during autumn. Consider bathing your feet first to open any cracks before drying them and then gently sloughing skin off with a foot file.
2. Keep your feet dry.
Wearing socks and closed-toed shoes can increase foot sweat, and damp feet are more prone to bacterial infections like pitted keratolysis, which is characterized by punched-out pits on your soles. It's important to routinely wash your feet, but make sure they're completely dry before putting on socks and shoes, and don't forget to dry in between your toes! Additionally, choose moisture-wicking socks that move moisture into your socks, promoting evaporation.
3. Choose comfortable boots and fall shoes that fit correctly.
Opt for boots and shoes with strong, supportive heels that fit comfortably during the fall. Your heels should feel stable and supported by the shoe while your toes should have a touch of wiggle room. Make sure to inspect the shoes' tread for good traction as you’ll likely be walking on more slippery surfaces including fallen leaves, snow, and ice. No matter the season, your shoes should always have good support, and it's best if they're not completely flat as this can lead to blisters and even cause arch collapse.
4. Soak your feet.
Periodically bathing your feet in Epsom salt and warm water is a great way to warm chilly feet, relieve discomfort, and ward off infections. The Epsom salt helps exfoliate your skin while easing inflammation and making your skin look years younger by softening and smoothing it. Absorbing the magnesium in the Epsom salt can also quell foot odor and relax your muscles and nerves.
While you go about your daily activities this fall, stay vigilant about caring for your feet and their well-being. For more information about foot and ankle care during the fall or to address any pain, injuries, or suspected foot or ankle diseases, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Martin Foot & Ankle today by calling (717) 757-3537. Your foot and ankle health is our primary concern.