- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How To Avoid Painful Cracked Heels In Winter - 5 Top Tips To Keep You Off Your Toes
Foot Care Is Important Year Round And Not Just In Summer When Our Feet Are On Display
Many of us, me included, tend to take our feet for granted and only pamper them in the warmer months of the year when they are on display to the world as we trip around in flip flops and sandals.
Failing to care adequately for our feet in winter can be the cause of fissures or cracks appearing, particularly on our heels, and this can lead to pain, problems walking and standing, and infection.
There are many causes of Skin / foot problems and these include eczema, diabetes,thyroid problems,psoriasis and athletes foot. Age can also wreak havoc with our skin as Sebum ( natural oil released by the skin) production lessens, and the skin also becomes less elastic and stretchy.
But I am going to deal solely with Xerosis or dry skin problems experienced in the winter, and how to avoid the pain of cracked heels and infection.
Causes Of Painful Cracked Heels In Winter
Common causes of dry skin on the feet and heels during cold weather, excluding disease or conditions such as diabetes , eczema , thyroid and circulatory problems can include,
Pressure exerted on our feet whilst standing and walking, cold dry weather, lack of moisturisation, hot baths and showers, central heating, dehydration, and insufficient intake of Zinc , vitamin E and essential omega 3 fatty acids.
Following a good foot care plan and eating a well balanced diet along with keeping well hydrated can all help prevent the pain and unsightliness of cracked heels.
5 Top Tips To Help You Avoid Painful Cracked Heels In Winter
1. Moisturise Moisturise and Moisturise Some More.
Whenever you get the chance throughout the day, rub moisturiser into your heels and the soles of your feet. If this is not possible then make sure to apply it at night just before going to bed and slip a pair of cotton socks on to trap the lotion or cream in and give it a chance to penetrate deeply whilst you sleep. If your feet are excessively dry it may be better to apply your product and then wrap your feet in cling film before putting on socks and tucking up in bed.
There are many specific products on the market for dry feet and cracked heels and these include Vitamin E cream, Shea butter, petroleum jelly and lanolin. Beware of lanolin though as it´s made from the oil from sheep wool and some people have a reaction to it.
2. Keep Hard Skin At Bay.
Gently exfoliate hard skin especially on the heels and moisturise always after doing this. You can do this using a pumice stone or exfoliating creams or specially designed foot files. Never attempt to cut or shave off hard skin, leave it to the professionals.
3. Avoid long hot baths and showers.
These will only suck out further moisture from your skin. Also try to stick with mild soaps or moisturising bath and shower oils and gels. Moisturise your feet well whilst still warm from your bath or shower as the pores will have opened and your moisturiser will soak right in.
4. Eat a diet rich in Omega 3 - Zinc - and Vitamin E .
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include oily fish such as sardines and salmon, many every day food products like margarine and eggs now contain elevated levels of Omega 3.
Zinc is found in foods such as Garlic, chickpeas, dark chocolate, wheat germ and seeds.
Vitamin E rich foods include Green leafy vegetables, almonds, pine kernels and hazel nuts, avocado, papaya, and raw seeds like sunflower and pumpkin.
Of course if you find it a problem including all these healthy choices in your diet, you could simply take a daily supplement.
5. Keep Hydrated.
Cold weather, high winds and hot central heating all suck moisture from our skin so it´s important to replace that by making sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day .
Prevention Is Better Than Cure.
Following these five easy suggestions should help to keep you on your toes during the cold winter months. Prevention is better than cure , but if your dry skin and cracked heel problem fails to correct itself using these methods, or an infection sets in, there may be more going on than just plain old dryness, and a visit to your doctor or medic may be needed.
Please note that the author is not a doctor or medic and is in no way associated with those professions. This hub is meant as a guideline only and should you be worried about your health in any way, a doctor or medics advice should always be sought.
Your votes and comments are always appreciated so please do feel free to leave them if you so wish. Thank you :)
Other Winter / Health Related Hubs By This Author
- How To Treat And Cure Smelly Feet Fast - And For Good
There can be few things as embarrasing as suddenly developing sweaty smelly feet. If you are looking for a fast and sure fire cure to stop this problem in it´s tracks and for good..read on.
- How To Stay Warm This Winter On A Budget
With fuel costs rising and winter on the doorstep , many of us will be worried about how we are going to keep warm and afford to pay our escalating bills this winter. Here are some suggestions on how to beat the freeze.