So why do women have cold feet?
How often do you get into bed and immediately rub your feet on the legs of your partner to try to get them warm?
There is good reason for this. Many people don’t realise the circulatory system of a female is different to that of a male. Women’s circulation is centred around the female reproductive organs, thereby leaving the extremities, such as the hands and feet, feeling colder as the blood supply in these areas is reduced. This is also the reason that women complain that their partners feet are perfect whilst theirs are not.
Additionally, our feet are subject to the ageing process just like the rest of the body. The more we use them, the more we need to return the favour of some tender, loving care. With the reduction in blood supply, comes the thinning of the skin on the feet, which in turn can give rise to dehydrated and cracked skin as the sweat glands reduce in effectiveness, due to the sub-cutaneous fat layer of the foot becoming lost. Symptoms vary from person to person and can range from very thin dry skin that tears easily and develops cracks, to visibly dehydrated and dry skin; or from build-up of callus and hard skin to painful stiff or swollen joints. Such symptoms may appear together or separately.
How many times have you heard yourself or a female friend say ‘my feet never used to look like this!’, well the truth is they didn’t, it’s unfortunately all down to the female circulatory and ageing process.
And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, wear and tear of the foot joints may also lead to joint stiffness. This is not only painful but also means that the feet lose the ability to act and provide effective shock absorbency that can potentially lead to balance and gait being compromised.
How to deal with feet that no longer look as good as they used to?
The beauty of feet – and yes they can be beautiful – is that they are one part of the body that can be transformed very easily into being pain-free and looking visibly younger – almost instantly with a little loving care – and believe me feet that look good are really liberating! It’s a great feeling to be able to expose your feet with the confidence of knowing they are hydrated, moisturised, looking beautiful and feeling comfortable – and the beauty of this is, anyone and everyone can achieve it!
It is important to realise that there is a difference between dry dehydrated skin and hard skin – I cannot count the number of times I see a patient who tells me that they have loads of hard skin, when I examine their feet I can see immediately that often they have lots of very dry skin which needs to be foot filed away, but more often than not they do not have ‘hard skin build up’. If you aren’t sure which you have, a big indicator is that hard skin build up is generally positioned under the joints – such as the calcaneum (the heel bone) or the 1st or the 5th metatarsal heads – that is under the big toe or the 5th baby toe. I also have to tell you that a person can get hard skin build up that is also very dry and this is skin that can suffer from really painful cracks or fissures. If this does occur you should really see a professional podiatrist to avoid skin infections developing.
Quick home tips for cold feet and the resulting symptoms
- Get plenty of exercise – this markedly improves circulation of the feet.
- Drink plenty of water, this helps with hydration.
- Don’t allow feet to get cold – wear warm socks that are well fitting but not too tight so as to restrict movement and circulation further!
- Do use a foot file on dry skin (to avoid the skin tearing) once a week, preferably first thing in the morning and avoid the use of anything that resembles a kitchen gadget – these are dangerous to use as they remove the skin unevenly and can cause pain, a burning sensation and splitting of the skin that may lead to nasty complications and infections.
- Avoid using body ‘balms’ – once applied, although they can improve the visible appearance, they can cause weakness to the tissues as they sit on the skin rather than feed it. Most body balms have not been formulated for the feet, where the skin is much thicker and more prone to bacterial and fungal infections, than other areas of the body.
- Do use a specific foot moisturiser daily – Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion is a miracle worker. With the super ingredient Emu Oil, the appearance of the feet is improved after just one application. This product has been formulated specifically to hydrate and condition the dermal layers, feeding the skin and improving its condition.
Emu Oil is a completely organic and natural by-product, it has the same irritant value as water when applied to the skin and is therefore suitable for all skin types. It helps improve cell rejuvenation and repair and because it is a dry oil, the fatty acid is readily accepted into the skin without clogging the pores. This Lotion will work to re-hydrate the skin on the feet, improve the elasticity of the skin, prevent and reduce callus build up and cracking in the skin and as it is also a great anti-inflammatory, it will help to improve and alleviate joint stiffness or local inflammation and pain of the joint.