Taking Care of Dry, Cracked Feet
In previous years, there were spells when it was hard to tell if winter was upon us. Obviously, that is not the case this year! Our whole region is getting hit with a serious dose of winter – and this can actually affect the health of your feet in a way you might not expect.
Winter air is much drier than it is at other times of the year. As a result of this increased dryness in the air, feet can also become quite dry. This becomes a problem when excessive dryness leads to cracked skin. Cracks and fissures can be painful and—if deep enough—even increase your risk of infection.
Let’s take a quick look at why the skin on your feet is more susceptible to this than other areas of the body.
Most of the skin on your body has oil glands to keep it moisturized, but feet are actually an exception to this and, as a result, are naturally drier than the rest of your body. External factors, such as dry, winter air, can exasperate this condition and cause itchiness, redness, and rough, cracked skin.
Taking care of dry feet is also an essential component of diabetic foot care. Individuals who live with diabetes cannot afford to have cracks in the skin that can be caused by excessively dry feet. If you have this disease, foot care needs to be a part of your daily routine.
There are a variety of methods to take care of dry feet. An easy way is to simply take a little time before bed each night to wash your feet with soap and water, pat them thoroughly dry with a towel, and then rub them gently while applying moisturizer. Do this every night and your feet will certainly appreciate it!
It can feel wonderful to handle dry feet by pampering yourself with a little foot care at the end of the day, but we also have some tips if you’d like to avoid dry feet in the first place. Some of the specific methods you might want to consider using include:
- Moisturize. One of the most effective remedies for treating dry skin is also quite valuable in preventing the problem from developing in the first place. You can start your preventative care at the store by finding a rich, heavy moisturizing cream or oil, or by grabbing some petroleum jelly. As you would when treating a case of dry, cracked feet, apply your chosen moisturizer to the bottoms, tops, and heel areas of your feet before going to bed at night and then again in the morning as soon as you get out of your bath or shower.
- Limit time bathing. When you shower or bathe, you wash away oils and deplete your skin of moisture (which probably seems counterintuitive). In addition to watching the time, keep the temperature down because hot water dries out your skin.
- Choose the right soap. Harsh soaps contribute to excessive dryness, so pick mild, gentle cleansers or pick a body wash that has moisturizing agents.
- Drink lots of water. Your body hydrates itself from the inside out and you can assist the process by drinking 8 cups of water throughout the day. Make sure to space out those 64 ounces for maximum efficacy. (Actually, in the same spirt, what you eat makes a difference as well.)
- Restrict your time in the sun. It will be a couple of months until this is relevant, but UV light will sap your skin of the essential moisture it needs to prevent cracking or excessive dryness. If you are spending time outside during our warmer months, don’t forget to use sunscreen on your feet!
Our team at Aadvanced Footcare Associates hopes that you and your loved ones don’t have to worry about dry skin causing pain or increasing infection risk or any skin or toenail condition that causes you problems! If excessively dry skin has become an issue and you need professional care, come see us at one of our offices. Schedule your appointment by calling:
- (718) 896-4433 to connect with our Rego Park office
- (516) 822-9595 to connect with our Plainview office
- (718) 969-2266 to connect with our Flushing office