Even if you’re a fan of the cold weather your feet might not feel the same way. Lots of us find our feet giving us problems when the weather turns cold.
Rough dry skin, achy bunions and ingrown toenails top the list of winter weather foot complaints.
1. Reverse rough dry skin:
Dry winter air can leave your skin itchy, flaky and dry including the skin on your feet. For some folks the problem gets so severe they’re left with cracking and even bleeding skin. Besides regular exfoliating to remove dry skin (we recommend a brown sugar or sea salt scrub, click here for simple recipes), avoiding harsh soaps and moisturizing consider taking a skin-friendly supplement.
According to several new studies 1,300 mg of evening primrose oil could do the trick for most of us. Evening primrose oil is rich in the essential fatty acids gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which can help your skin hold onto moisture, preventing dry skin before it starts, or restoring moisture to already dehydrated skin.1,2,3,4
2. Ease achy bunions:
Switching from foot loose and fancy free sandals to enclosed shoes can put a real hurting on folks who have bunions. Bunions are the bony bumps that some people have at the base of their big toe. Although scientists aren’t exactly sure why some of us get them and others of us don’t, bunions are believed to be hereditary. But regardless of where your bunions come from enclosed shoes that crowd your toes in winter can turn walking into torture.
The fix is easy, replace any shoes with a narrow or pointy toe with ones that have a nice wide toe box. Shoes that are narrow at the front and high heels put pressure on your bunions causing pain.5 Remove that pressure and you will ease the pain.
3. Avoid ingrown toenails:
If you’ve already followed my advice in tip number two to replace narrow or pointy toed shoes with wider shoes you’re already well on your way to avoiding future ingrown toenails. While keeping your feet completely covered in the winter is, obviously, a necessity this leaves your toes with far less wiggle room. Plus heavy shoes and thick socks (or tightly fitting tights) put added pressure on your toenails, which can cause them to grow into your skin.
Besides buying shoes with wider toe boxes be sure to trim your toenails and file them regularly. Just make sure to not cut them too short and to trim them straight across, not at an angle which can make the problem worse.
1. “The Effect of Evening Primrose Oil for the Prevention of Xerotic Cheilitis in Acne Patients Being Treated with Isotretinoin: A Pilot Study,” Ann Dermatol. 2014 Dec; 26(6): 706–712
2. “Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults,” Int J Cosmet Sci. 2005 Aug;27(4):243-9
3. “Evening primrose oil is effective in atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial,” Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2008 Sep-Oct;74(5):447-52
4. “The therapeutic effect of evening primrose oil in atopic dermatitis patients with dry scaly skin lesions is associated with the normalization of serum gamma-interferon levels,” Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002 Jan-Feb;15(1):20-5
5. “Why Women’s Feet Hurt More During the Fall,” American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, News Release October 27, 2016
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