So here we are in the thick of winter – low temperatures and short days are a cold reminder of the season. So what’s the effect on our feet? Well, chilblains are a common problem and can strike during the colder spells of winter. These have been covered before in our blog and information can be found here if you have them.
The other thing we see a lot of at this time of the year is athletes’ foot. Athlete’s foot is not something just for the active, around a third of all adults suffer with this! For most of us, we probably don’t even realise that we have it because its very subtle, but signs include a persistent dryness of the soles of the feet with white, chalky appearance of the skin creases on the soles. In between the toes, a sogginess and whitening of the skin, particularly at the base of the toes suggests fungal foot infection. Itching, strangely, is rarely a symptom. For most its not a problem but untreated it can spread to other areas of the body such as the hands, toenails and particularly in men, the groin as well.
The cold temperatures at this time of the year mean we are spending more time in closed in shoes. This is the perfect environment for fungus to grow and spread. Countries with longer winters have higher rates of infection for the reason above.
So what can you do about it? It depends where the infection has got to. If its just on the skin of the feet its easily treated with an antifungal cream which is applied daily for a few weeks. This will soon clear it up. If it has started to infect the nails you may notice your nails are turning a different colour at the edges. At this point its worth coming to see us as fungal nail infections need to be properly diagnosed and treated to prevent them spread to other nails.
Here at the Chiropody Surgery we stock a range of treatments so please ask for further information.