Its November, the chill in the air is now warning you that winter is here! Winter months call for some extra care for your feet! Winter usually causes your feet to become cracked and dry. The cool, dry air and lack of humidity causes dry skin that becomes more prominent around the heels. Normally it starts off with fine lines in the skin, which tends to become more visible, the skin appears dull, rough and flaky. The cracks get obvious and may cause pain. Dermatologists call dry skin, as xerosis, which is one of the most common causes that lead to cracked heels.
Most people ignore their feet and do not think it is important to take care of their feet, however Its important to know that dry skin can be a very annoying and Exposure to harsh cold weather, growing age combining with improper hygiene can lead to dry and cracked heels. If this condition is not treated in time, the skin may dry excessively causing cracks and “fissures” of the heel. Deep cracks or fissures of the heel is very painful and can restrict your daily movement. Sometimes these cracks tend to bleed which again may aggravate the situation.
If this is a problem you face every winter or if it is the case for someone who is experiencing it for the first time; do not fear, spend few minutes to care of your feet will left you with soft and attractive feet even during winter.
Causes that can make your feet dry-cracked
- Cold weather during winter can contribute to this condition as exposure to dry cold air can give rise to cracked feet.
- Lack of humidity indoor heat from the heaters used during winter leaves the skin feeling dry.
- Prolonged standing for hours at home or at work,without taking breaks can put a lot of pressure on your feet pads, causing painful cracks.
- Overexposure to dry wind and lack of moisturizing during the winter months can leave feet dry; not taking good care can lead the cracks to bleed.
- Our feet have sweat glands instead of oil glands to maintain the moisture in the skin; inactive sweat glands also lead to dry cracked feet.
- Sometimes skin disorders like eczema can also be the reason for cracked dry feet.
- Medical conditions which can contribute to this kind of conditions include diabetes, thyroid and obesity.
How to recognize- symptoms
Early reorganization helps a lot to prevent the deep and painful cracks of heel.
- In most cases, initially skin around the heels feels thick and rough; you may feel tightness at heel area.
- Itching of the heels due to dryness; scratching excessively can lead to redness of skin.
- There can be fish like nets appear on the skin and skin on the heels now starts to flake (peeling of the skin).
- Bleeding may occur if cracks are deep, that increases the chances of infection.
- Painful deep cracks-“fissures” can make walking difficult.
Regularly examining your skin on a daily basis will help you detect the signs and symptoms of dry, cracked feet. Treating dry skin requires some dedication and care.
Here are a few easy Tips to get relief from dry- cracked heels and stay away from painful heels.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Drink lot of fluids, fruit and vegetable juices as they release a huge amount of water to your body. Water plays an important role in maintaining the moisture of skin. Having a nice hot bowl of hot homemade soup prepared with a lot of greens, helps nourish skin and keeps it from drying.
- Shower care: Take lukewarm showers, instead of very hot showers to avoid dehydration of skin. Pat dry your feet completely after taking a shower. Keep the bathtub or shower surface areas clean. Applying any kind of oil including coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, before taking a shower will help to avoid dryness. It is also advisable to use soap, which contains natural oils, glycerin, or soap that contains high moisturizing content. Using pumice stone will also help to keep your feet away from drying and cracking. Do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer or cream soon after a shower.
- Extra care during winters: Apply a good amount of cold cream or moisturizing lotion which contain glycerin, vitamin E or petroleum jelly after a shower and at night before going to bed. Wearing a good pair of cotton socks at night in bed may help maintain smooth skin.
- Use good footwear: Always wear comfortable footwear while at work, rather than tight fittings ones. Try to keep footwear dry at all times. Wear closed padded soft shoes and sandals instead of back open sandals. Washing your home slippers every two weeks and keeping them clean, will keep your feet away from germs and bacterial infections. Avoid standing on hard floors or damp areas barefoot for a long time as far as possible.
- Maintain healthy weight: As being overweight can put pressure on your feet pads, this can be one of the reasons of dry cracked feet. Try to maintain healthy weight.
Home Remedies to maintain silky smooth feet in winter, to prevent fissures of heel.
- Soaking your feet in warm water with a few drops of tea tree oils or glycerin for ten to fifteen minutes every day will help maintain the moisture on your heels.
- Washing your feet with a paste of gram flour mixed with yogurt once or twice a week will leave your feet feeling refreshed.
- Mixing glycerin and rose water in equal quantities and applying on cracked feet for some time will help keep your heels soft.
- Adding a good amount of honey on your foot bath and soaking in warm water for twenty minutes, will help relieve stress, also honey will leave your skin feeling soft.
- A warm footbath with a little sea salt added; couple of times in a week is also found very helpful
- Homemade paste made by mixing papaya and lemon juice should be applied on feet once a week.
- Applying mashed a ripe banana to your dry cracked feet for twenty minutes once or twice a week can deliver amazing results.
Dry cracked heels can be prevented or treated very well by taking extra care at home, however little ignorance can lead to painful condition “fissures of heel”. It’s always advisable to take expert advice or visit dermatologists in cases that are not responding to simple home care.