Winter Foot Health Tips

With winter right around the corner now is the time to start taking inventory of your winter shoe selection as it is starting to get cold in Kansas City! At this time of year, Kansas City Foot and Ankle specialists will typically start seeing an increase in certain types of foot related to pain and problems as people are forced back into closed toed shoes that may be poorly fitting.  We see an increase in conditions such as ingrown toenails as the toes are now sometimes cramped together in more tightly fitting shoes versus the sandals and flip-flops that patients often wear over the summer months. Bunion pain can also be worsened at this time of year as the shoes tend to push on the bunion and cause rubbing and irritation at this area. Callus formation can also be more prevalent in the winter months given the required shoe changes also.

Winter foot health

A bunion is a misalignment of the bones in your foot and creates a bump on the outside of your foot near the base of your first toe. It forces the big toe to point towards the other toes. It can also occur on the other side of your foot near the pinky toe.  This type of bunion is called a Tailor’s bunion. Most bunion pain can be decreased or avoided by following a few simple guidelines. One of the most important things to consider is custom orthotic inserts to help slow down the progression of any existing bunion or help prevent the development of bunions in the first place. Orthotics often also help bunion pain substantially by addressing pronation or flattening of the arches and to allow better joint function at the big toe joint.  Other options to help protect bunions in the winter months would be using bunion pads and cushions to help decrease rubbing on the bunion on the shoe and avoiding shoes that are pointed or narrow for the holiday parties or at least limiting their wear time.

We also typically seen an increase in callus formation in the winter months particularly on the sides of toes and these are usually caused by rubbing of the shoe against the toe but also of the toes rubbing against each other as the toes are now in a more confined environment. Generally, again the best solution to callus formation caused by shoe irritation is to wear shoes that are of an appropriate width and many patients, unfortunately, wear shoes that are not properly sized. It is never a bad idea to have your foot remeasured as the shoe size can change over time even in adults.

With respect ingrown toenails these can also be avoided dairy not wearing shoes that tightly compress the toes particularly pointed shoes for women force of the toes and to a smaller space and they need. For an ingrown toenail usually appropriately fitting shoes combined with soaking and antibiotic ointment tender nail could prevent the nail from worsening and becoming infected. The same is true for callus formation in generally the strategy is to wear shoes that are roomy enough combined with appropriate cushioning in the shoes either with wide shoes or with various silicon type pads.

We hope these basic tips help keep your feet in tip-top shape this winter! Here’s to your healthy feet! If you have any problems over the winter or are having them now, call the experts at Kansas City Foot and Ankle today. Our office can be reached at (816) 943-1111.