Winter is the time of year when we see many of patients at our Oakville / Halton area Foot Clinic complaining about dry skin on their feet and ankles. Many people have concerns that it is unsightly, but in reality skin that is dry is more likely to become itchy, have rashes and even infections. This is because extremely dry skin on the feet, especially the heel, can develop painful cracks in the skin (fissures). The cracks in the skin of the heel and foot are more prone to bleeding and becoming infected.
It’s important to recognize and take care of dry skin on the foot early. Dry skin is also more prone to developing painful calluses. For these reasons, moisturizing the feet is important. Here are some tips from our Chiropodist (Foot Clinic / Care) for adding much needed moisture to the skin of the feet (it is best to speak with your Chiropodist to see what would be best for your specific case):
- Wash feet daily with a mild soap and warm water.
- Dry the feet well (don’t miss between your toes) and immediately apply moisturizer. For moderately dry skin, a regular moisturizer is effective. For extremely dry skin, including skin that has cracks (fissures), use an extra rich moisturizer that contains urea. If you have difficulty reaching your feet, put some moisturizer on a plate or tray. Move your feet around the plate or tray being careful to rub the moisturizing cream into the feet. Step on a towel and gently blot your feet to wipe off excess cream. OR apply moisturizer to feet using a long-handled paint brush. Wipe off any excess.
- Avoid applying moisturizer between the toes. Excess moisture that builds up between the toes encourages the development of athlete’s foot fungal infection.
- Vinegar! Soaking the feet once to three times a week in a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar in a shallow basin of lukewarm water helps to improve the condition of the skin. Soak for only 10 -15 minutes do avoid drying out the skin – then follow the above steps.
- For a night time treat, apply a rich emollient moisturizer to your feet and put on breathable cotton socks. The heat from the socks will help skin soak in the moisture.
- Your Oakville Chiropodist Arien can help you choose a moisturizer to help suit your needs as well as assess the root cause of the dryness.