Easy Tips for Foot-based Winter Skin Care
Winter in Colorado Springs happens… basically whenever it wants to, really.
Snow comes and goes, but eventually we do settle into a steady season of cold. And with that, often, can come some bad times for our feet.
Not only can the environment dry out our skin, but our feet tend to remain stuffed firmly into boots and shoes for longer periods of time as well. These factors can lead to a variety of problems, from cracked heels to foot odor.
When the winter months are in full effect, paying a little more attention to your feet can go a long way toward staying comfortable and avoiding problems. And none of the tips below require any big spa treatments or lavish techniques (unless you want them to). Winter skin care really is something that everyone can engage in.
Dry feet can be very common during the winter, so some extra internal and external maintenance can be welcome.
Internally, make sure you are drinking enough water.
We are not talking an extreme amount here. While some sources go by a firm rule of “8 glasses per day,” the level really varies from person to person based on general health, environment, and physical activity levels. In general, as long as you are drinking water when you are thirsty, you should be doing well.
If you are currently staying properly hydrated, drinking water above that level will likely not help your skin all that much. However, if you are currently not getting enough water, getting to the proper level might have a positive effect on skin dryness (and is much better for your body overall).
Externally, use moisturizer on your feet.
Just about any simple moisturizer should do, but heavier and thicker varieties tend to work best for dry feet. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, urea, lanolin, and mineral oil—all of which help attract moisture to the skin or lock it in.
The best time to moisturize is when your feet are already damp, so after drying off from a shower is an ideal opportunity. Apply the moisturizer to your feet evenly, but be sure to avoid getting excess moisturizer between your toes, where it can sit and stew (and if you have diabetes, you should avoid placing moisturizer between your toes at all!).
Another opportunity to moisturize falls at bedtime. Apply a thick moisturizer or even petroleum jelly, and then slip on an old (but clean!) pair of socks. They help keep the product against your skin and help prevent your sheets from getting gross.
Heating homes can also dry them out, which can add to dryness problems with your feet.
A humidifier can be a reasonable option for restoring some moisture to your home. If you do choose to use a humidifier, however, make sure you clean it regularly with soap and water, never add anything like essential oils, and only used distilled water if possible. This all helps avoid your device sending foreign particulates into the air that may cause respiratory problems.
Let’s return to your shower time, too. If you enjoy hot, steaming showers, consider reducing the heat and/or your time spent in there. Long, very hot showers can draw moisture out of your feet, as counter-intuitive as that may seem.
Also, when drying off during a shower, pat your feet dry instead of forcefully rubbing your towel over them. Drying your feet in such a way can cause excess dryness.
Be Mindful of Your Winter Footwear
What are you keeping your feet in through the winter season?
If you have had the same boots for several seasons, it may very well be time for a new pair. If your boots and shoes don’t fit properly, they may cause friction against your feet and lead to tough calluses.
As we age, the cushioning pad of fat on our heels begins to deteriorate as well. This creates more pressure in this area, which makes us more prone to dryness and cracking.
Boots with good cushioning in the heel can help counter this pressure and help reduce or prevent damage to the skin. If you need extra support, or find you are developing corns and calluses in other areas, ask us whether orthotics may be a good option for you.
When you find a good pair of boots, that’s great! Get a second pair, too.
Keeping your feet in the same shoes every day creates a warm, damp environment inside that odor-causing bacteria and problem-causing fungi love.
You should avoid wearing the same pair of footwear on consecutive days when possible, and give your boots at least 24 hours to dry and air out before wearing them again.
If your feet sweat a heavy amount, investing in a boot dryer may be a good deal for you. It also doesn’t hurt to bring an extra pair of dry socks with you and change into them halfway through your day. Keeping your feet dry through the day is not only comfortable, but healthier as well.
Get Professional Skin Care When You Need It!
Most times, some simple routines and changes can make a huge difference in keeping your feet healthy. However, if you are still facing dryness, cracking, calluses, odor, or other problems no matter what you try, it’s time to get an expert on the case.
Schedule an appointment at our Colorado Springs office by calling (719) 266-5000. If you prefer to reach us electronically, simply click our “Contact” button and fill out our online form. A member of our staff will reach out to you during our business hours.
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