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Baby It's Cold Outside!

Yep – winter is upon most of the nation just in time for the holidays! Being in Texas, we tend to adjust for a day in the 20’s and back to 70 degrees the very next day. Just this morning, I elected to run outside. The temperature was 19 degrees with a wind chill of four degrees. Taking deep breaths of air and smiling, I soon noticed I was the only person in my neighborhood that was outside. I noticed one of my neighbors giving me a thumbs up through their window. She was dressed in her cozy robe not at all looking like she wanted to join in on the fun I was having. Everything was feeling good except for one thing – my feet.
Oops I thought, I have really adjusted to living in a warm climate – wearing my thin running socks with running shoes of mostly mesh material it soon felt like I was dipping my feet in ice water with each stride. Did I stop? Of course not, by the end of five miles I had two ice bricks for feet. Returning back to the warmth of my house, my feet were a bit ticked off to say the least. I successfully kept the rest of my body warm however I failed to take care of my feet.

Winter weather can play havoc on your feet if you don’t take care of them properly. Just like fixing your hair or make up (guys, go with me on this) you need to care for your feet along with the rest of your fine self. Let’s think about our feet for a minute – take off those shoes and socks and follow along:

Look at your heels

  • Do you see soft pink skin or dry cracks the size of the Missippi? If soft skin is not observed, use a daily moisturizing lotion recommended by your Podiatrist. In the evening, wear socks to bed after moisturizing. Can’t stand socks on your feet? Gel heel socks are a great alternative. The sock basically covers the heel area and allows the lotion you applied to sink into the skin and not your bedding. You can find them right at Healthy Steps. Any lotion will do and here’s a tip – it’s a GREAT stocking stuffer!

Check out your toes

  • Are they well groomed or do your nails have ridges resembling the Ozark Mountains? When the weather turns cool then cold, most people forget about the importance of a good pedicure. Make it a point to write on your calendar a reminder for your monthly pedicure during the winter months. Go polish free or for the ladies, whip on a fabulous red for the holidays. Get your pedicure at a location where your safety is priority number one.

Look at the bottom of your feet

  • Do you see pretty skin or calloused skin? Again, a regular pedicure will keep your feet in check. Under no circumstances should you ever cut calluses off or allow a pedicurist to use a blade on your feet. When blades are used (they are also illegal in spas) it is an open invitation for infection. Pumice stones are a perfect way to reduce calluses. If however you have open sores or are a Diabetic, never attempt this on your own. See your Podiatrist for assistance.

Pumice Stone 101

  • First, soak your feet in warm, not hot water with a few drops of soap. Stay away from harsh soaps such as dish soap. The goal is to relax the skin without adding to the dryness. Relax and soak your feet for 10 minutes.
  • Take the pumice stone and dip it in the water. Allow the water to absorb into the pumice stone.
  • Slowly begin to rub the calloused area being careful to not cause the skin to open. Once the calloused is reduced, wash your feet with a gentle cleanser, dry the feet, apply lotion then cover with socks.
  • Repeat this process a few times a week and you will see results!
If by chance you were overzealous and bleeding occurred, stop the process immediately. Cleanse thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water, a dab of triple antibiotic ointment and a band aid. If you notice any redness, swelling or more than just a little discharge over the next few days, seek medical attention immediately! Once your foot completely healed, book an appointment with a medically supervised spa and leave the sloughing to the experts!