Now that summer is over, your feet are back to spending a lot more time in closed-toed shoes and socks, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them the same amount of love! As the weather gets chillier, your feet may be starting to get dry and have cracked skin. This is a common problem however, it’s not difficult to get your feet feeling soft again.
Your feet naturally tend to be dry because there are no oil glands and only sweat glands that keep your feet moisturized. If you don’t properly moisturize your feet on a daily basis, your feet will continue to get more and more dry which can be painful if your skin starts to crack. If you have diabetes or athlete’s foot, it can be especially problematic as any time there is an open wound on your foot, it can get infected and cause a bigger problem.
If you notice your feet are dry and lotion isn’t helping, try changing soaps. A milder soap may be helpful in retaining the moisture in your feet. Also avoid taking showers or baths that are too hot and long. This will dry out your skin in general especially if done frequently. When your feet are out in the sun, make sure to put sunscreen on them to prevent the skin from getting to tan which also makes your feet dry. Lastly, a humidifier can help your overall body moisture level both inside and out since heaters make the air especially dry.
At home, you can try to treat yourself by soaking your feet in lemon juice for 10 minutes and using a gentle scrub or loofah to get rid of the dead skin. Afterwards, you can use simple vegetable oil or Vaseline combined with a little lemon juice or olive oil to rub on to your feet. Oils and cream are a better option than lotion because some lotions have alcohol in it, which can make the problem worse.
If your dry skin continues to persist or get worse, you may have a skin condition that you need to get checked out. Dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema among other conditions can cause your skin to be dried out. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over seventeen years. If you have any questions you can call us at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.