As soon as the temperature drops outside my feet become like blocks of ice and I instantly reach for my thickest cosiest socks to wear in bed. However, during the day thick socks is not always practical and sometimes a level of smart dress code needs to be adhered to. There comes a time when form over function needs to be ignored and function and comfort needs to become essential instead.
It is always our extremities that suffer first, this means cold hands and feet. You have probably noticed that your client’s nails grow slower in the winter then they do in the summer. This is due to a decrease in circulation and a reduced amount of oxygen and nutrient rich blood reaching the fingers and toes. As the temperature drops the body conserves heat by restricting the circulation to the extremities. This not only slows the nail growth but also the skin becomes dryer.
So what can you do to help your feet?
- Moisturise them daily – because your feet are dryer and become dehydrated through autumn and winter months they will really benefit from a daily moisturise to maintain suppleness and hydration. They will also enjoy the quick massage that comes with the application of the moisturiser.
- Increase circulation – this will help keep the feet warmer and revitalised. You can increase circulation by exercise and by massage. Keeping active will not only help warm the feet but also your whole body and help reduce that sluggish feeling we get this time of year. The use of a foot spa followed by a foot massage is the ultimate luxury for the feet. Make sure you maintain the warmth by putting on your warmest snuggliest socks. If you have warm feet on going to bed you will sleep better and the feet are more likely to keep warm all night.
- Paraffin wax treatment – this not only warms the hands and feet but also visibly softens and moisturises too.
- Keep on top the hard dry skin – if hard skin is allowed to build up around the heels and toes it can become cracked and extremely painful. A weekly exfoliation with an exfoliator or foot file will help keep that hard skin at bay. Your moisturiser will be absorbed more readily into fresh exfoliated skin too.
- Wear weather sensible footwear – a good fitting well supporting shoe or boot is always essential, however in colder wetter weather you need to consider changing to footwear with a more sturdy sole to protect against the cold concrete of the pavements. Waterproof footwear is also better at keeping the feet warm on wet days. Because we tend to wear thicker socks in the winter it’s a good idea to take your thick socks with you when shoe shopping. Shoes that are too tight will not keep your feet warm and comfortable.
Autumn is the season to increase foot care, not just cram your feet into your winter shoes and forget about them.