Are cracked heels giving you the winter blues?

cracked heelWinter time in Kansas City is the most common time to see your skin dry out. Even though your feet may not be exposed to the elements, they too have a tendency to become affected. You may notice redness and feel pain around your heels. Your feet may even be bad enough to cause sores or an open wound. A cracked heel or cracking on other areas of your feet can be caused by a multitude of reasons, such as: callouses, cold weather, indoor heating, standing for long periods of time or worse a fungal infection. Staying on top of your foot care is the key to happy feet!

Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out is a great place to start. Remember to drink lots of water! While a nice hot shower may feel great during these sub-zero temperatures, keep them short and avoid making them excessively hot. Soaps remove the natural oils and hot water tends to dry out your skin more. Don’t forget to exfoliate your feet when bathing using a pumice stone, wash cloth or loofa to help remove dry skin you may not even notice. Ill-fitting winter boots or shoes can create friction on dry skin causing irritation and cracking of the heels.  Moisturize your feet with a podiatrist-recommended, over-the-counter product such as Kera-42, which contains 42% urea. Urea is great to use on hard skin cells. It causes the cells to open up and absorb and retain moisture. Prescription strength Kera-42 can be purchased right here at Kansas City Foot and Ankle, without an appointment. Stop in and pick some up today.

However, these remedies will be less likely to work if a callous is present or there is an underlying problem you may not be aware of causing dry skin. Many think that a dermatologist is who you should see for your dry feet, because it involves your skin. But your podiatrist is trained in skin treatments specific to the foot and will be able to do a thorough assessment of your feet and provide the best care and treatment. People with diabetes are more prone to cracking skin on their feet, which can lead to wounds and infections quickly. If you have diabetes, seeing a podiatrist in the winter months is a must. A podiatrist can monitor your foot health and make sure that a simple dry cracked heel doesn’t turn into a more serious wound or infection.

With the winter already in full swing, the tendency to develop dry, cracked skin is upon us. Make sure you are taking every measure to care for your feet. If you or someone you know is suffering from dry cracked feet, call Kansas City Foot and Ankle office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Green or Dr. Stephanie Jameson.