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Beat Dry, Cracked Heels This Winter

It’s that time of year again when block buster movies and cold temperatures collide. You may be yearning to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but taking a hot shower, cranking up the heat, and warming your toes by the fire might be more appealing than leaving the house. Don’t give in to temptation just yet. Winter is dry skin time, and some of those “cozy” habits are exactly the wrong thing to do for your feet.

Dry, Cracked Heels
Warming your feet by the fire may cause them to dry out even more.

Your feet have no oil glands, only sweat glands, so it is hard to keep them moisturized. Hot water actually removes moisture from your feet. Use lukewarm water for your shower or bath, and a mild soap that moisturizes instead of one that dries or irritates your skin. The more your furnace runs, the drier the air will be in your home or office. Try lowering the setting and use a humidifier, or even boil some water on the stove, to get extra moisture into the air. Don’t expose your feet to direct heat, and be sure to drink enough liquids.

If you do end up with dry, cracked heels, there are some home care remedies that may provide relief. Soak your feet in lemon juice: its mild acid helps dissolve dead and dry skin that you can gently remove with a soft brush or loofah. A brown sugar and olive oil scrub, rubbed in for 15 minutes, can also help exfoliate the dead tissue. Follow up with a good cream or lotion that does not contain any skin-drying alcohol. Looking for another tip? Vegetable oil can be rubbed on before bed and covered with warm socks to moisturize your feet through the night.

If your heels have dry cracks that bleed, call My Chicago Foot Expert at (773) 561-8100 for an appointment. Dr. Stavros Alexopoulos can see if there is an underlying medical problem that could be causing your dry skin, or prescribe special ointments that are not available over the counter. Don’t suffer from itchy, dry skin this winter. Call today, or request an appointment online.