Kansas City winters can be especially dry, and often many of our patients at Kansas City Foot and Ankle have issues with dry, cracked skin on their feet this time of year. If left untreated can become significantly painful and cause a whole host of other issues, including wounds and infections. Often the dry weather combined with indoor heating and standing in place for extended periods of time all make for a perfect storm of pressure and dry skin. The result can be deeply cracked heels that are not only painful but can pose an infection risk for many patients. Staying on top of your foot care is the key to happy feet in the winter months and avoiding potentially major issues.
The first place to start is with good hydration to avoid becoming dehydrated and having your skin dry out. Drink plenty of water in the winter months as the lack of humidity in the air will dry both you and your skin out, also avoid hot showers and soaks as they can further irritate already dry skin. Try to avoid applying scented lotions and creams to hydrate the skin as these can also be irritating to the skin. We recommend moisturizing your feet with a good quality unscented lotion and carry a variety of products in the office that will help get your feet back in top shape. Moisturize your feet with a podiatrist-recommended product such as Kera-42, which contains 40% urea and is a fantastic option as it pulls moisture directly into the skin. Prescription strength Kera-42 can be purchased right here at Kansas City Foot and Ankle; without an appointment. So stop in and pick some up today. I also recommend a good daily moisturizer like Foot Miracle which we also keep in stock here at the office. Aloe socks or “gel socks” are also a great addition to the routine as they will help hold moisturizer on your feet and help prevent them from drying out. Aloe socks are widely available at many retailers or online and the fibers of the socks themselves will also help moisturize your feet.
Many of 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. People with diabetes are more prone to cracking skin on their feet, which can lead to wounds and infections quickly, so dry feet must be taken seriously by these patients. If you have diabetes, seeing a podiatrist in the winter months is a must if you are developing cracks on your heels since they can lead to deep heel wounds. Patients with thyroid issues can also have problems with dry skin. 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 Winter already in full swing in Kansas City, the tendency to develop dry, cracked skin is upon us. Make sure you are taking every measure to care for your feet and using the above recommendations to avoid painful dry, cracked feet. If you or someone you know is suffering from dry cracked feet, call Kansas City Foot and Ankle and the Heel Pain Center of Kansas City today at 816-943-1111 to schedule an appointment with our expert team of doctors. Dr. Daniel Miller, Dr. Dusty Christensen, Dr. Stephanie Jameson, Dr. Mark Green, and Dr. Ross Bartley are all available to get your feet back to their best. We now conveniently have multiple locations throughout the community to serve you. Call today!