Snowy sidewalks and cold temperatures are nothing new to Chicago residents. However, being used to harsh weather doesn’t mean it’s easy to avoid the physical discomforts that pop up during the winter season. For example, winter feet problems can show up unexpectedly and impact your daily life and mobility. From the discomfort of cracked heels to the agony of athlete’s foot, winter can be tough on feet.
Below we explore the most common winter foot ailments and discuss how to take care of your feet during Chicago’s coldest months.
5 Common Foot Problems Seen During the Wintertime
- Dry, Cracked Heels and Skin
Dry skin and cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common complaint. Heel cracks can cause significant pain and make it difficult to wear shoes. To prevent this, regularly apply a nourishing moisturizer to your feet, particularly after showering. For added protection, choose shoes or boots with sturdy heel support and wear padded socks to cushion your feet.
If you have diabetes or any condition that affects blood flow, consult our podiatrist in Hyde Park in Chicago for effective foot care. Skin conditions often arise in conjunction with circulatory issues.
Winter in Chicago means breaking out the heavy boots and spending long hours walking in the snow or engaging in winter sports, which can lead to blisters. Ensure your winter footwear fits snugly, and consider padded socks to minimize friction. When renting sports gear like skates or ski boots, prioritize a good fit to avoid blisters.
- Athlete’s Foot
Contrary to popular belief, athlete’s foot isn’t just a summer issue. This fungus thrives in moist environments. Wearing thick socks and insulated boots can quickly result in sweaty feet in the winter. To prevent this, wear socks made from moisture-wicking materials, especially if you engage in winter sports or outdoor activities.
Walking on icy sidewalks and taking part in winter sports, such as ice skating, can increase the risk of bone fractures. To protect your feet, wear well-fitted shoes or winter boots with adequate support. You may also consider using ice grips or traction devices to prevent slips on icy surfaces.
- Foot Pain
If you experience persistent foot pain in cold weather, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional. While it’s essential to stay active, it’s equally important to address foot pain promptly. Conditions like diabetes or peripheral arterial disease can worsen during cold weather. It’s important to take extra precautions when you’re at risk of developing such conditions.
Additionally, painful toes in cold weather can indicate neuropathy issues, chilblains, or even frostbite. Be sure you’re wearing shoes that don’t constrict your feet and provide high level warmth. It’s also important to limit your exposure to the cold if you regularly deal with cold sensitivity.
Contact Mitchell Foot & Ankle for Winter Foot Care
If you’re asking “Why does my foot hurt when it’s cold?” or “Why do I get cracked heels in the winter?” then you’re one of the many people who struggle with winter foot ailments. Fortunately, our team is here to help. Winter weather can be harsh, but by taking extra precautions to protect your feet you can enjoy the season to its fullest.