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Wintry weather is a challenging time for your feet. It causes skin and nails to dry out, leaving them weak and vulnerable to infection. Trying to keep your feet warm leads to problems as well, but there are many easy ways to keep your feet comfy and healthy. Find out how to manage common problems with our Winter Foot Care advice.


Poorly fitting shoes and thick winter socks lead to tight footwear and sweaty feet. This squashes and rubs your toes, and leads to painful blisters.

You can protect vulnerable spots with blister pads. If a blister forms, gently wash it with warm water and don’t pop it – this increases the likelihood of infection. The blister should heal itself after a few days.

Fungal Infections

Warm, damp environments are a breeding ground for fungal infections.

Athlete’s Foot thrives in moist, warm conditions. It’s itchy and sore, with a burning or stinging pain. Oozy or crusty blisters are also common. Athlete’s foot is most common between the toes and can easily spread to the toenails.

Anyone can get it and it’s contagious, so avoid going barefoot at home and in public places (such as swimming pools).

Toenail Fungus (onychomycosis) causes the nails to thicken, crack, crumble and discolour. Cracks expose the nail bed, and nasty infections can easily follow.

If you suffer from certain conditions, you’ll be more susceptible to fungal infections – diabetes, circulation issues or peripheral arterial disease, for example.

Antifungal medication is often sufficient to clear up both types of fungal infection, although severe cases of toenail fungus can require surgery to remove the nail.


Chilblains are swollen red spots on the feet and toes. They are itchy and sore with an uncomfortable burning sensation. Scratching makes them worse and causes blisters and infections. Chilblains can affect anyone but people with circulation issues are more vulnerable.

Blood vessels constrict in the cold. When you warm up, the blood vessels struggle to readjust and blood leaks into surrounding tissues. This creates swelling and itchiness.

Chilblains often disappear on their own in a few weeks. Improve circulation with gentle exercise and apply a soothing lotion like camomile to ease pain and itching.

Cracked Heels

Cold air sucks moisture from your skin to leave rough, dry patches. This leads to flaking and painful cracking, which can end with an infection.

Soak your feet in warm (not hot) water regularly and add essential oil for extra moisturising. Thoroughly dry your feet and gently exfoliate with a pumice stone. Then apply moisturiser to keep the skin soft and supple.

Stay well hydrated; you need this all year round not just in warmer weather. It helps keep your feet healthy and the rest of you as well.

The Right Footwear and Daily Hygiene

All these conditions (and many more) are exacerbated by the wrong footwear. Shoes, boots, and socks must allow air to circulate. Moist, hot feet attract infection so wear moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry.

Our feet change over time, and this affects the fit of our shoes. Tissues become worn, arches collapse, and your foot grows wider and flatter. Don’t assume last year’s winter boots still fit. Get your feet measured before you buy new shoes.

Gently wash and dry your feet (including between your toes) every day and always wear fresh socks or tights. These simple steps help prevent infection.

The Right Winter Foot Care Advice at Feet By Pody

For help with specific conditions and advice on daily foot care talk to the expert podiatrists at Feet by Pody.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our London foot clinics.

Contact Feet By Pody today.