Winter weather causes many issues. Roads, lakes, and sidewalks aren’t the only things affected; our skin is drastically changed by harsh weather! With that in mind, most people tend to concentrate on keeping their faces and hands moisturized, leaving out the feet. Our feet may not be exposed to the bitter weather as much as our hands and faces, but they are still affected in painful ways.
Dry skin is the main issue for winter feet. Because feet have fewer oil glands than other places on the body, they are more susceptible to the effects of dry air. Dryness in the air is caused by the colder temperature, but can also be caused by artificial heaters. Keep your feet warm by using slippers and socks, and stay away from these heaters to help prevent cracking.
Dryness is not only unsightly to look at, but can also cause painful cracking (especially on the heels). One relaxing way to help soften feet is to soak them in a warm bath of Epsom Salt. The salt contains minerals that are absorbed through the skin, with health benefits for the entire body. It can also be rubbed gently on the feet as an exfoliating tool to help remove dead skin.
Another helpful home tool is petroleum jelly. Rubbing a little bit on your feet about once a week will help to keep moisture in your feet. Along with feeling great, the massage will also help to increase circulation through your extremities! When you’re done, cover your feet with socks to ensure that the jelly does not rub away.
Dr. Andrew Marso is a podiatrist in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. At Wisconsin Foot Center, we work hard to help you keep your feet healthy. If you have questions, or would like to make an appointment, visit our website, or call our office at (414) 425-8400.