The Central Alberta Podiatry team encourage you to treat your feet well throughout winter.

The Central Alberta Podiatry team encourage you to treat your feet well throughout winter.

5 tips for happy, healthy winter feet

From preventing gout to protecting against frostbite, here’s what you need to know!

Whether it’s a day at the office in high-heels or hauling the sled up the kids’ favourite toboggan hill – over and over and over – your feet can take a beating in winter.

The implications of that range from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous.

So what do we need to remember once the cold weather hits? We checked in with Red Deer podiatrist Dr. Darren Woodruff, from Central Alberta Podiatry, to find out!

  1. If the shoe fits, wear it! And if it doesn’t … don’t. Ill-fitting shoes are the primary cause of blisters, calluses and other foot ailments that in addition to being uncomfortable, can cause more severe challenges in some people, particularly those with diabetes or nerve damage.
  2. Don’t over-indulge this season – While comfort food is an integral part of the winter season for many, that can be bad news for those prone to gout. Foods like red meat, sugary foods and alcohol can also lead to a build-up of uric acid, which can manifest in the toe joints as the painful condition, Dr. Woodruff notes. Beyond the concern over gout, over-indulging can also cause foot and ankle swelling and less stability, which can lead to falls and twisted ankles.
  3. Be pedicure safety-conscious – Is that great deal on your pre-party pedicure too good to be true? It’s essential to ensure your pedicure practitioner is licensed by the province and has all the required sterilization and safety protocols in place, otherwise those toes could be exposed to bacterial and fungal infections that could take months to clear, Dr. Woodruff says.
  4. Be prepared for the cold – While snow can be beautiful, ice and snow can be dangerous for feet and ankles. And if the temperature drops after a warm spell, remember that there’s likely ice under the white stuff. Cold temperatures also make you vulnerable to frostbite, which continues to be a concern each year, Dr. Woodruff says. If you’ll be outside for any length of time, layer on the socks and wear good, warm boots so you don’t risk losing toes.
  5. Listen to your feet – If your feet are sore or uncomfortable, they’re trying to tell you something isn’t right. Regularly check for bruising, in-grown toenails, swelling or other problem signs, and check in with your podiatrist if anything raises concern.

To learn more about keeping your feet happy and healthy throughout winter and beyond, visit Central Alberta Podiatry Foot and Ankle Clinic at #101 179C Leva Ave. in Red Deer or online at centralalbertapodiatry.ca Book your appointment today at 403-340-1468.

RELATED READING: Smart summer solutions for sore feet

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