Thanks to the famous, weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and the fact that the Polar Vortex seems to keep sticking around, it seems winter might be here for a while. Whether you love the cold or are counting the days until spring, the chilly, dry temperatures may leaving you with dry skin on your hands or feet.
Just because it's not sandal weather, don't ignore your feet. Here are a few tips to take care of your skin during the dead of winter.
1. Avoid wet socks and gloves
Wet, snow-soaked socks and gloves are not only uncomfortable, but they can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores or eczema flare-ups. If you're left with damp socks after shoveling the driveway yet again this winter, be sure to change as quickly as possible or invest in a good pair of water-resistant boots.
2. Fire up the humidifier
During the winter, indoor heating systems and space heaters continually blow hot, dry air into offices and homes. Humidifiers can reverse the dryness by circulating more moisture in the air, which helps prevent skin from drying out. It's a good idea to have a few small humidifiers placed around the house to help distribute moisture evenly.
3. Treat your feet
Dry skin on the feet needs stronger moisturizing treatment during the winter. Look for lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine. If you need advice, just ask Dr. Michelle Kim or myself and we can recommend some products for you – many of which we provide in our Lemont office. It's also a good idea to try exfoliants to scrub off dead skin from time to time – this helps any moisturizers sink in faster and deeper.
Should the skin on your feet be dry, cracked, or peeling, the doctors here can buff your skin and recommend the right products for your foot needs.
4. Ban extreme baths
A relaxing hot bath may sound great after coming in from the cold, but the heat of a hot shower or tub can result in moisture loss. Instead, opt for a warm bath and add oatmeal or baking soda if your skin is itchy.
5. Seek care from a specialist
While plenty of drug and discount stores sell moisturizers and products for dry skin on the feet, a podiatrist or one of our staff members at DM Foot and Ankle can help direct you toward products that are specifically geared toward your problems and skin type. All you have to do is ask – we're happy to help!
By Diana Emini