During the cold Cincinnati winter, many people find they have a tough time dealing with dry feet and the unsightly or painful things that go with them—cracking heels, peeling skin, and constant itchiness. A big part of the problem is that, when you’re inside, your feet are exposed to low-humidity heat, and when you’re outside they’re stuffed into big snow boots that don’t breathe. It seems like no matter what you do, you can’t win!
That impression is mistaken, however—in most cases you can do a lot to keep winter cold from attacking your dry feet. Here are some of our top tips:
Limit the frequency, duration, and temperature of your showers or baths to one quick wash per day at most (if you can), under lukewarm water. Bathing, especially with hot water, actually extracts moisture from you skin and washes away hydrating oils, so longer and hotter baths just dry your feet more.
Use a moisturizer on your feet right after you bathe, while your feet are still wet. This helps seal in the remaining moisture on your skin, soothing existing cracks and preventing future ones. It’s especially beneficial if you do this right before bed and then put on a nice pair of loose-fitting cotton socks.
Indoor heating can suck the moisture right out of your skin. Two potential solutions to this problem: you can try turning down the heat a little bit in winter and throwing on a sweater instead (which also helps you save energy and money), or you could get a humidifier to make that dry air a little wetter. Or both.
Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking lots of water isn’t just good for warding off headaches and illness and keeping your internal organs functioning smoothly—the benefits extend to increasing the amount of moisture in your skin, too.
For more tips, or to see a doctor about persistent dry feet and cracked heels, give Family Foot and Ankle Center a call at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572 and set up an appointment at one of our six locations throughout the area.