Your feet can be subject to just as many funky problems in wintertime as in the warmer months and hiding your toes in boots doesn’t help! Indoor heating, enclosed shoes, cold weather, and neglect can all lead to foot issues such as foot fungus, smelly odors, and cracked heels. We spoke with New York City-based podiatrist Johanna S. Youner D.P.M, to find out the best way to fix up your tootsies.
Pulling out your winter boots at the beginning of the season means that it's time to give them a clean. "Fungus can live in your shoes for over a year, so there's a good chance that nasty germs from last season are still around," says Dr. Youner. Disinfect your shoes with antibacterial wipes and spritz them with an antifungal foot spray to get rid of germs. "Another good idea is to change your socks throughout the day," suggests Dr. Youner. Just like your boots, socks can breed germs and bacteria, especially synthetic fibers. Invest in a pair of 100% cotton socks, they’ll help your feet to breathe and prevent them from smelling.
Beautylish recommends: Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Clean & Cool Foot Wipes
Once you've taken care of your boots, it's important to ensure that your feet aren't carrying around the germs either. "During winter your feet are enclosed in socks and boots which makes them sweat and get wet. Then, when you're inside, they dry out, which can result in cracked heels, smelly odors, and foot fungus," explains Dr. Youner. Use a foot spray or powder before putting on your socks to prevent sweating and decrease smell. Foot fungus can also spread via nail salons. "Winter is a great time to give your nails a break from polish," suggests Dr. Youner. But if you can't live without your weekly pedicure, book an appointment early in the morning. "A morning appointment means less people have used the foot baths, decreasing your chance of picking up bacteria and infecting your feet,” says Dr. Youner. For winter, we love Bootie Pies. They look just like Uggs and feature a removable toe, so you can keep your feet warm and prevent your fresh pedi from smudging!
Beautylish recommends: Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Spray Powder
Cracked heels and dry skin occur more frequently in the colder months. "I would advise using a foot scrub or pumice stone every two to three days to scrub off dead skin," says Dr. Youner. Removing the dead skin will keep your feet healthy, prevent them from cracking, and also get them in shape for strappy, summer sandals. After
your sloughing session, slather on a heavy duty moisturizer or pamper your feet with a DIY milk foot bath. Milk has natural exfoliators and is also super moisturizing, so you'll be giving your feet the ultimate treat.
Beautylish recommends: Revlon Sugar Sensation Foot File