During the winter months, feet are often covered with thicker socks and cramped into more insulated shoes. While this can keep your feet warm and cozy, it can also lead to dry and irritated skin. As skin dries, it can become cracked and callus and can require some attention to ensure that any problems do not get out of hand.
The reason that cracked heels happen is because the skin gets dry and as pressure is put on them from walking, running or any type of activity, the heel’s skin expands and the dry skin begins to split. This may seem like a minor issue; however cracked heels can lead to more serious problems if an infection is to occur.
To resolve this issue, cracked heels need to absorb moisture to prevent further skin separation, soreness, bleeding and potential infection. Below are 3 quick and easy ways to turn the tide on skin cracking in your heels:
Begin Using A Foot Cream
Getting moisture into the cracked skin is the most effective way to soothe the irritation and get your skin back to normal. We recommend Jergens or Gold Bond Foot Cream for mild cracking or Eucerin for severe cracking. All three products can be found at your local drugstore and are generally cost under $10. Once you have the foot cream, apply it to your heels twice a day, preferably right after you finish drying off from a bath or shower. This will provide the best rate of absorption. Give your moisturized feet 3-5 minutes for the cream to absorb into the skin before putting on socks or shoes.
Cut Back On Washing Your Feet
Washing your feet is an important way to maintain foot health, but too much soap and scrubbing can actually cause more harm than good. Soap will not only kill bacteria on your foot, but it will also remove layers of dense, calloused skin that keeps your foot protected. Instead of washing your feet daily, try washing them every other day, or use a mild cleanser that won’t strip away layers of your skin. As the moisture in your feet returns to normal and the cracking eases, you may return to washing your feet with more regularity.
Drink Plenty of Water to Stay Hydrated
It may not seem like it, but drinking plenty of water helps to hydrate your skin to keep it healthy and free from cracking. During the winter months, your body may not be showing typical signs of dehydration, but it is easy to forget to drink water. As the weather gets cold we are more likely to drink hot coffee or other warm beverages which can actually deplete the body of the water that keeps it hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day will help your skin fight back against dryness. Drinking 3-4 liters of water will help keep your skin hydrated and help your body maintain optimal health.
Cracked heels are a pain that many people deal with, but are also an easy to treat condition. If your cracked heels don’t recover after two weeks of implementing the treatments described above, contact our office and schedule time to see Dr. Aslmand to ensure that the issue gets under control before becoming more serious.