With flip-flops covering most Americans’ feet this June, how can we avoid drying out our feet? Dry skin can come from sun exposure, weather changes, dry air, and exposure to chemicals such as soaps and chlorine found in swimming pools. Salt from the ocean can dry your skin as well! For some, your skin may just be naturally drier and more prone to fissuring and cracking. The danger of dry skin is that these cracks can be a portal for harmful bacteria to cause infection. This is especially dangerous for persons with diabetes.
So how can we protect our feet from the harsh elements?
- Apply a thick layer of cream or lotion before bed each day and use an occlusive layer, such as socks to maintain a moist environment
- Remember to avoid applying cream or lotion between toes
- Ask your doctor if you need urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil and petrolateum based creams or fluocinolone acetonide
- Avoid hot showers
- Wear closed toe shoes at least part of the time
- The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends
- Use gentle chemicals to cleanse in the shower
- Limit your showers to 5-10 minutes
- Blot your skin with a towel
- Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing
- Ointments and oils are more effective than lotions (olive or jojoba oil are simple choices)
- Avoid products with alcohol, retinoids, fragrances, or alpha hydroxyl acide (AHA)
- Use gloves or closed toed shoes for outdoor functions that might put you in contact with water, sun, chemicals, or damaging work
- Choose a non-irritating laundry detergent
- Use a humidifier
Skin care is easy once the habit is created. Remember to place your moisturizer in an easily visible spot near your bath or shower and soon you will be keeping your feet fissure-free with 5 quick minutes each day!
Please contact us online or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.