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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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As the winter months keep on rolling, one problem can really put a damper on the health of your feet. Of course we are talking about dry, cracked, and painful skin! Cracked heels and other areas of your feet are not only painful, but can also lead to other problems such as infections. So let's get into some things that you can do at home to combat it.

It's no coincidence that dry cracked feet show up when the thermometer drops down. Mother nature has her own way of making the winter months the ideal situation for drying out the skin on your feet. Obviously the dry cold air outside has an effect on drying out your skin, but its actually the air inside that can have an even greater effect. With the central heating coming on, the moisture in the air inside can drop greatly. A simple trick to alleviate this is to plug in an air humidifier in a central location. There's no need to run it all day, just an hour or two on low can greatly help put some moisture back in the air.

After a long, cold day, a hot shower can seem like a nice way to unwind. But be careful, the longer you stay in the shower and the hotter the water, the more likely that shower will lead to dry skin. Dry skin is a result of not enough moisture in the layer of your skin called the stratum corneum. Your skin needs the protective oils it creates on the surface of the skin in order to maintain that moisture. By taking the long hot shower, you are actually washing away these critical oils. Try to keep the shower to less than ten minutes and keep the temperature at a warm, but not hot, level. Certain soaps such as Dove or Cetaphil can be tried as well, in order to keep the critical oils where they should be-on your skin and not down the drain!

Moisturizing creams should be used liberally and frequently. If you are diabetic, remember to stay away from getting lotion in between the toes as this can kick start other complications.

If you have suffered from dry, cracked skin for a while, and nothing has seemed to work, make the time to take care of your health and schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. Lingering bacterial infections may be the cause of some types of dry, cracked skin and can last for years. Start your new year off right and give yourself the gift of good health from head to toe!

Here is a link to a useful article on skin care in the winter from the University of Iowa. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

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