Do you suffer from dry and cracked heels during the winter months?DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Emini and I see a rise in patients who complain of this very problem during the colder months of the year. Besides its obvious appearance, dry heels can lead to bleeding and discomfort in your everyday life. It may start with red or flaky patches, itchy skin, then start to peel and crack and eventually it can lead to bleeding, infection, and pain.
What causes dry/cracked heels?
Dry heels can be caused by many factors. For some people it is simply genetic disposition to dry skin, while others may be a using a soap or chemicals that irritate the skin. Lack of hydration, aging, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol can all directly or indirectly contribute to dry heels. Cracked heels are called Heel Fissures; the skin thickens as a result of friction which can lead to pain and cause bleeding. Skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete's foot, and thyroid disease can lead to heel fissures. Open-backed shoes that allow slippage around the heel while walking are often the culprits of heel fissures. In the cold weather, the lack of moisture in the air is the cause of the dry heels.
How can dry/cracked heels be treated?
Wearing proper shoes and the use of deep skin moisturizers and lotions can reduce the dryness associated with the condition and allow the foot to heal. Use warm water instead of hot water when showering because the hot water can further dry out your skin. Also, you should exfoliate your feet on a regular basis, be sure to use a gentle exfoliating scrub to get all of the dead skin off. Be careful when using heel repair creams, most contain chemicals that can aggravate your skin, the correct creams should be prescribed by your podiatrist.
This month at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, we are offering a limited edition, top of the line foot spa package for just $5! It can be used by both men and women; you can buy it as a gift for your significant other or treat yourself for Valentine’s Day! This package includes everything that you need to help rejuvenate your heels from this cold winter weather. So be sure to take care of your heels today!