Winter Preparation For Feet

The winter months are fast approaching and despite the fact that winter in the southeastern Texas region could be considered fall in other parts of the country, there are several factors that could spell trouble to your feet. I can see the wheels in your brain spinning with on question brewing. What trouble? Winter equals colder temperature and drier air. This combo can cause a few adverse effects to the integrity and health of your skin, especially that of your feet. What do I mean?

  • Cooler, Drier Air the biggest complication of such a dynamic duo is drier skin. Dry skin leads to itching, cracking, and potential bacterial colonization/infection.
  • Cooler Air by itself, can cause Chilblains, Frost Nip, and Frost Bite
  • Frost Nip superficial frostbite. Reversible ice crystals form on the skin, it presents as small, painless, blanched spots on the skin that reverse with active rewarming.
  • Frost Bite actual freezing of the tissue down to the cellular level. Severity related to the temperature gradient between the skin and the external environment, BUT the most important factor is duration of exposure. Superficial blistering leads to deep blistering which leads to deep tissue injury and necrosis (tissue death).
  • Chilblains milder form of frostbite commonly seen in those who work outdoors.

Dress appropriately.

  • Sandals in cold temperatures isnt necessarily a detrimental idea, however, wearing sandals for long periods of time in cold temperatures increases your risk of suffering the aforementioned troubles.
  • Constricting footwear increases your risk of injury, so loose fitting clothing is better
  • Insulated materials can slow the rate of heat loss NOT prevent.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

  • Daily application of a good moisturizer can alleviate the drying effects of the winter air and help prevent cracking and fissuring. Application of such a moisturizer is recommended after bathing/showering. NOTE: always make sure to fully rub in to skin, especially between the toes.

Avoid exposure to wet AND cold

  • The effects of the cooler environment will severely increase and at a much quicker rate.

Treatment for cold injury will not be discussed in this installment. Stay tuned.

If you have experienced any form of cold injury or irritation OR have any other concern regarding the health of your feet, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Cold Weather, Footcare, Winter