The march of the dry winter feet
So you probably thought you were done with holidays for awhile. No, you were mistaken. Coming up in just a few days, (January 8 to be exact) is
National Winter Skin Relief Day.
It is a wonder that we could have possibly overlooked this important day.
Okay, so I might have been a little sarcastic there but I do think that there is a great reason to celebrate. Winter does really take a toll on our skin. Those of us in colder climates have noticed already that the dry outside air and the really dry inside air have affected our skin. I notice my hands and face first. That dry feeling starts and I am off for hand cream and a richer face moisturizer.
Unfortunately, I ALWAYS forget about moisturizing my feet. And they are dry. Not just a little dry but horrible looking dry. You know how it happens. Your feet are covered up during the winter and you just don’t think that much about them. If your feet are like mine, they need some help. It is not good for your feet to get too dry.
Any opening in the skin of your feet can be a wide-open door for bacteria or fungus to get into your body. Those cracks in your heel? Those are a welcome mat for problems. One of the things that I have found is that – especially in bed – my foot will itch and I will use the other foot to scratch it. Okay, now first off, I shouldn’t scratch but I will admit that I do. But my foot is so dry that I actually scratch the skin on the itch foot with the rough skin on the other foot. Not good.
What do you do about those dry feet? Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. In my case, I have to call in the big guns. While I know it is the right thing to do, I have a hard time lowering the temperature in the shower. With the dry air, a cooler shower won’t dry your skin out as much. When stepping out of the shower, you should moisturize right away while your pores are still open from the shower. Your skin will be able to absorb the moisturizer much better that way. But should you do something special for your feet?
Yes, while in the shower, you might want to use a pumice stone to rub off the dry skin. Then when you get out of the shower, you should moisturize but make sure you dry off your feet before you get going for the day. If you are going to the gym or a public pool, make sure that you wear flip flops in the locker room to protect against the lurking foot fungus and bacteria that thrive in locker rooms.
At night before I go to bed I slather on the moisturizer. Now depending on how bad it is, I will use different products. When my feet are at their driest, I will use a product called Aquaphor. Aquaphor is a healing ointment. Its consistency is a lot like Vaseline petroleum jelly but it has more to it. If my feet are not as bad, using your normal moisturizer might do the trick. But then I put on white cotton socks. This way the moisturizer has more time to be absorbed by your skin and not the bed sheets. (Plus if you put Aquaphor on your feet and then get into bed, you will stain the sheets. Hear that experience talking?) There are some other products that are very helpful when the skin on your feet is very dry. Kerasal or Amlactin are good products to try.
If you have large cracks in the skin of your feet or you think they might be infected, it is time to see your friendly local podiatrist. The doctor can check out your feet and see if you infected. The doctor can probably help you get some of that dead skin removed. If your feet are so dry that the doctor doesn’t think over the counter moisturizers will help, there are prescription products that can help.
I am really going to try and get my feet back in shape. Are you with me?
Happy New Year!