Your feet need just a little bit of tender loving care
Your feet take the brunt of your weight for hours everyday. And unfortunately they are, at times, also the most ignored part of your body. Don’t wait for aching feet to get your attention. Your feet take the impact of your entire body weight and help you balance. And any injury on your muscles, tendons and ligaments can be very debilitating. Your feet face a number of problems. From foot odour, cracked heels, corns bunions, ingrown nails and fungal infections can cause a lot of discomfort. While some problems can’t be avoided, some can be avoided by paying a little extra attention to your feet. A simple daily regimen keeps your feet functioning well…
Choose the right footwear
If you wear shoes that are ill-fitting, painful or loose, you’re inviting foot problems. Your shoes have to fit just right â€” neither too tight nor too loose. Shoes that are tight are known to cause corns, ingrown toenails and aches. On the other hand, shoes that are loose, don’t allow your your heels from settling in properly, increasing your chances of blisters, calluses and sore heels. Always buy footwear at the latter part of the day because your feet expand towards the end of the day. Avoid wearing heels regularly â€” they can damage the bones of your feet. Instead, opt for a comfortable pair of flats or one inch heels from daily wear. Shoes made out of synthetics don’t breathe well because they trap moisture and heat; go in for natural materials like leather and cotton which keep feet cool. Try and alternate your shoes, so that both pairs have a chance to dry out before being worn again.
Go for regular walks
While we tend to be on our feet all day long, regular exercise for your feet is also important. Your foot muscles need exercise to remain strong, and keep tendons and ligaments flexible.
You can use arch support inserts if you like. These keep your feet in the correct position and support your weight when you walk.
Wash your feet
While washing your feet daily in the shower is a must, make it a habit to wash them at the end of the day as well. Especially if you wear closed shoes, the moisture and sweat makes it easy for bacteria and fungi to flourish between your toes causing bad odour and even fungal infections. Washing your feet will ensure that nothing dirty accumulates. Dry your feet well and use a foot powder if you want.
If you moisturise your body, why skip your feet? While the skin on your feet is rougher (because of the daily wear and tear), it is also more prone to being drier and cracked. Use a lotion, which is rich in cocoa butter, which is a natural emollient and excellent for feet. Apply it when you go to bed at night and wear socks so that the lotion can stay on yout feet instead of getting rubbed off on the sheets. Even if you’re at home, make it a habit to wear socks â€” whether you’ve moisturised your feet or no. Socks protect your feet from blisters and absorb moisture.
Have regular appointments with The Podiatrist
Treat yourself to an appointment once a month at least. Soaking your feet and exfoliating your soles makes them softer and healthier. Use only Gewhol foot care products (which are available at The Podiatrist)
Contact The Podiatrist if you have any problems.
Well, the winter is certainly upon us, and time for some foot care tips.
Winter Footcare Tips:
Winter weather can decorate the ground with beautiful snowy landscapes and can provide a host of enjoyable outdoor activities. It can be invigorating to be outside provided you take certain precautions to protect your feet. During cold and damp weather conditions it is important to keep your feet warm and dry. It can be critical for the elderly and people with circulation problems such as Raynaud’s syndrome and especially important for diabetics. During cold weather the body moves the blood away from the outer limbs such as the fingers and toes in order to maintain a constant body temperature. That is why your fingers and toes feel colder and subsequently numb with prolonged exposure to cold weather.
Follow these important tips for safe outdoor fun:
• Wear thicker non-constricting socks.
• Wear comfortable fitting (never too tight) waterproof boots.
• Should your feet be exposed to cold and dampness for any prolonged period Do NOT put them in HOT water, near a flame (such as a fireplace) or use a heating pad.
• Instead soak them in Warm water at a constant temperature gradually allowing the feet regain their normal temperature.
• Be careful to not let the water get hot.
• Dry them thoroughly and repeat the process if necessary.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
Feet still perspire even in cold weather and can lead to fungal infections. It is important to clean and dry the feet thoroughly each day and change socks daily too.
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If you suffer from chronic cold feet, then it’s important to know how to avoid foot pain during winter weather or when feet get wet and are exposed to the elements. There are many medical reasons for having cold feet and a variety of methods to choose from to keep your feet warm and comfortable. Sometimes feet can feel as if they are frozen, presenting with symptoms similar to frost bite. This can occur from an action as simple as sitting in front of an air conditioning vent in the middle of summer. Resulting foot pain can become incapacitating for some, and threaten a life long debility. Following are some suggestions for keeping your feet warm, healthy and pain free.
Check for medical reasons for foot pain
Visit your health care practitioner
If you suffer from continual bouts of icy cold feet, find out if the cause is related to a medical condition.
Ask the doctor if medicines you might be taking for unrelated illnesses might have side effects including reduced blood flow to limbs. Certain beta blockers for high blood pressure cause this symptom as do many other medications. Ask to try a different medication or natural remedy to avoid side effects.
Keep feet covered
Wear socks and closed shoes! Although it seems obvious, walking around barefoot or in open toed shoes and sandals can aggravate existing symptoms and cause unnecessary discomfort. Even in summer, if you spend a great deal of time in places that are heavily cooled with air conditioning, wearing light weight socks and closed shoes can help avoid foot pain and slow the progression of any medical conditions.
Keep your feet dry
Damp or wet feet are much more prone to becoming cold. If feet become wet, remove shoes and socks, and replace with dry socks and another pair of shoes if necessary.
Stimulate foot circulation
Get up and walk around for a few minutes. While working at a desk, circulation often slows from sitting for long periods of time. Moving around for a few minutes every hour or so will help to increase circulation, protecting feet from pain.
Keep feet warm throughout the year
Wear socks made from natural fibres and if possible, wear 2 layers- this provides insulation and keeps the feet warm. Socks made from natural fibres not only provide warmth, but have strong wicking action that absorbs sweat easily, directing moisture away from feet, keeping them dry. Silk sock liners are thin enough to wear under another pair of socks or in snug fitting shoes and boots.
Wear down booties or sheepskin lined slippers and boots while sitting at the desk to hold warmth in around the feet during cold weather or exposure to drafts from air conditioning vents.
Wear leg warmers to keep lower limbs warm. When ankles and calves get cold, often the feet follow suit and wearing leg warmers helps to avoid foot pain by keeping blood flow more active in the lower legs.
Place a small electric space heater at your desk or by your TV chair. Turn it on and off as needed and direct it toward your feet-BUT not directly on your feet. Using a space heater helps avoid foot pain and also higher heating bills from having to heat an entire room or area of your house. Again, use caution to avoid burning yourself.
Eat warming foods to increase circulation. Spices such as cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger help to open tiny capillaries in the skin and increase circulation, warming feet and reducing painful episodes.
Stop smoking and drinking caffeinated beverages. These products cause the capillaries in the body to constrict, reducing blood flow and causing cold hands and feet.
If your feet get icy cold and won’t warm up in a few minutes by using some or all of the above suggestions, try soaking them in tepid water in the bathtub. Water should not be any warmer than lukewarm and no higher than body temperature. Place feet in water slowly and if it feels too hot, cool water down a bit. Add some Epsom salts and apple cider vinegar to stimulate circulation and soothe aching, painful feet.
For more information on any foot conditions, visit the website: http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz to make an appointment
Do you suffer from cold hands and feet? As we start getting nearer the winter months (dare I say), there will be many out there with this problem.
The problem is that if you’re a woman, this happens much more easily and dramatically — we do feel the cold more, and it’s all down to hormones.
All of us — men and women — feel cold when our skin gets cold.
Thermo-receptor cells, less than a millimetre below the surface of the skin, are what cause us to experience changes in temperature.
Normally, the skin is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to blood pumping through the capillaries — tiny, branch-like blood vessels that make up our microcirculation.
But when the thermo-receptors detect cold, they react by causing the capillaries to shut down, diverting blood flow — and warmth — to the heart, lungs and other internal organs. This process is called vasoconstriction.
Incredibly, when we’re cold the amount of blood flowing into the skin in the extremities can become as low as 0.02 litres per minute (the maximum rate is two to three litres per minute).
It’s a bit like placing a blood pressure cuff on the arm.
It’s the hands, face and feet that tend to be coldest and that’s partly because they’re exposed, but it’s also because the body will sacrifice these extremities to keep the internal organs warm.
That’s why our hands turn white, and even blue, in the cold, and why those who survive extremely cold conditions lose fingers and toes to frostbite.
However, in some people — typically women — this process can go haywire, causing their blood vessels to shut down even from a minimal amount of cold.
The blood flow to skin is shut down sooner and more intensely than in men, and afterwards it takes women longer to warm up.
So even though women may feel the cold more than men, it’s their skin temperature — not their core body temperature — that’s colder.
This is partly down to hormones.
In women, the female hormone oestrogen regulates the peripheral blood vessels; high levels of this hormone make them more sensitive to temperature.
As a result, a woman’s temperature will vary during her menstrual cycle as oestrogen levels rise and fall.
It’s suggested this mechanism allows a pregnant woman to ensure her baby is protected from cold, but the causes are still unclear.
There’s also the fact that women have 10 per cent more body fat than men.
Insulation works both ways. The more fat you’ve got, the more you’re defending the inner organs, but it also means you’re stopping heat from reaching the skin.
This phenomenon also explains why women are five times more likely to have Raynaud’s syndrome, a disorder thought to affect women.
It is characterized by extremely cold hands and feet when exposed to the cold — even touching something cold, such as reaching into the freezer.
‘Raynaud’s refers to a wide spectrum of conditions known as vasospastic disorders, which means your microcirculation system is very sensitive. This means that the natural vasoconstriction response to the cold is exaggerated.
It overshoots, so only mild cold causes it to shut down.
Exactly what causes Raynaud’s is unknown, but it can run in families.
The problem can also be triggered by auto-immune conditions such as arthritis and lupus — when it’s known as secondary Raynaud’s.
In a Raynaud’s attack, the capillaries temporarily go into spasm and the blood supply to the extremities is so severely interrupted that the fingers change colour, going white then blue as the supply of oxygenated blood is cut off.
When heat is restored, the hands may swell up and become red and painful as the blood flow returns.
Cold sets it off, but it can be triggered by many things, such as smoking — because nicotine shuts down circulation — and emotion or anxiety, because adrenaline diverts the blood to the muscles.
If you become cold and the blood flow shifts from the peripheries of the body to the centre, the body reacts by getting rid of some fluid to make room for the increased blood volume.
This is why you’ll find that after standing in the cold for a while you’re bursting to go to the loo.
However, all these fluid shifts also increase the likelihood of clotting, and researchers think that may result in the increased cardiac problems.
Cold hands and feet can occasionally be a sign of something more sinister — the blood flow in your body may be interrupted because a vein or artery in the leg has become furred up by fatty deposits, a condition known as peripheral arterial disease.
But here the cold feet tend to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain in the arms or legs during exercise (because not enough blood and oxygen is reaching the muscles.
If you’re young and you just get cold feet, you’re probably at the very mild end of the spectrum of Raynaud’s.
So, apart from layering up, what’s the best way to stay warm?
The experts are unanimous in their answer: light exercise. This restores blood flow to the muscles and skin.
Most people have problems in winter because they stop exercising. If you cycle to work or jog while it’s cold, it takes four or five minutes to start to warm up.
Contact The Podiatrist for any foot related concerns.
People often remember to care for their feet in the summertime, when the practice of wearing sandals makes calluses, dried skin and ingrown toenails easily visible. But when the weather becomes chilly, and wearing socks and winter boots become the norm, it’s easy to forget about your feet.
Winter weather can make feet more susceptible to problems, which is why it’s important to think about footcare during the winter season. To help give you a leg up on proper winter footcare, here are some helpful tips to keep your feet healthy when the temperature drops:
– Give your feet a breather. The foot contains over 250,000 sweat glands. When feet sweat in warm socks and boots, that moisture becomes trapped and causes foot odour. To keep feet sweat-free, buy socks made from a natural or synthetic blend. Put foot powder in your shoes to prevent odour. Once a day, take off your socks and shoes and let your feet breathe.
-Moisturize. Winter air is very dry. To keep skin smooth, moisturize your feet every time you shower. After washing your feet, thoroughly dry your skin before applying a lotion or foot moisturizer. Apply moisturizer over all of the foot except for between toes, and make sure your feet are dry before you put on socks. If your feet are dry and flaky and have painful cracks, apply antibiotic cream and bandages. If trouble continues, see The Podiatrist immediately.
– Keep up your weekly pedicure. Putting away your sandals shouldn’t mean putting away your pumice stone. At least once a week, soak your feet in lukewarm water, then buff away dry skin with a stone or scrub and apply moisturizer. Do not try to cut off calluses.
– Watch out for chilblains. In areas that experience very low temperatures, chilblains become a very real concern. The skin looks red and painful, can become itchy and digits burn when exposed to heat. If you think you have chilblains, do not put your feet in hot water — you can burn your skin. Soak your feet in tepid water. If you see blisters or blackened skin, or have pain, go to an emergency room immediately.
Why not purchase a pair of Dr Comfort slippers to keep your feet through winter?
See The Podiatrist for any concerns
As the cold weather approaches, I thought it a good idea to give you some tips on keeping your feet healthy.
It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as
athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.Make sure your shoes and
socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly
sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard
over-the-counter preparations. If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required. Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.
Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.
Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.
Keep in mind also, that your legs and trunk tend to stay warmer than your hands and head. A pair of gloves, mittens, or socks over your hands can make a big difference in your comfort level, as can a headband, stocking hat or hooded sweatshirt. Usually, a single pair of athletic socks is sufficient, as your feet benefit from frictional heat during walking and running. The choice between tights and sweatpants is largely a matter of personal preference. As temperatures decrease, I recommend the following progression of upper body attire.
The Dr Comfort range of socks are designed and manufactured with your foot health in mind. They’re perfect for people living with diabetes, arthritis, edema, neuropathy and circulation issues. They’re available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. And the dye in our colored socks doesn’t bleed out of the fabric, reducing your risk of foot infection.
Why Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers?
Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers release Far Infrared Rays that may promote blood circulation and anion production, which has health benefits. Nano Bamboo Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer. It’s a sustainable, chemical-free way to take care of your feet.
Why not come in and try on a pair for yourself?
Keep warm and stay healthy.