Don’t Let Yourself to Forget About Feet in Winter02.11.2021
Well-maintained feet are even more important now that the days of summer are behind us. We (hopefully!) take better care when our feet are exposed in the summer flip flops and strappy wedges. But when it comes to the Uggs, slippers and boots phases of the year, things start to decline. It’s easy to forget about the “dogs” until spring and cover them with socks as fall approaches. It would be a mistake, as we don’t want to wake up one cold morning with our sheets torn from the hacksaw edges that have taken over our skin.
Attention must be paid to cracks also called “fissures”. It’s not only a bad look but it can also cause skin problems such as dry skin, which can lead to itchiness, bleeding, pain, swelling, and even infection. Here are some ways to prevent them becoming dry gullies, which could be used to plant a whole crop of spring kale.
- Get into a pre-bedtime routine (aka exfoliate)
You “pre-game” when you are a college student in your 20s. Mid-lifers with heel fissures “pre-bedtime”. Soak your feet in warm, soapy water before you go to bed. After drying, exfoliate your feet with a loofah or foot file (yes the mini-cheese grator), or a pumice rock. You should do this at least once a week. Do not exfoliate every night. Too much can cause your skin to become dry and more susceptible to calluses.
For those who are more adventurous, you can also try the white wine vinegar and Listerine soak. Their acidity and antiseptic qualities, respectively, can lift and clean the skin. There are many natural home remedies available.
- Do not file in the opposite direction.
You’re right if you thought that too vigorous exfoliating could cause damage to your heels. Jacqueline Sutera, a podiatrist, shared that too much moving back and forth can lead to cracks getting worse. Sutera recommends using an Amope battery-operated foot file that files your feet in one way. This prevents the rubbing from getting too deep, “down into the dermal layers” which can lead to pain, infection, and increased cracking.
- Warm (but not hot) showers are recommended
There is nothing better than taking a hot bath or a shower on a cold, miserable day. It’s not much, but it is worth sacrificing the pleasure of wearing heels that are comfortable to walk on. The body loses natural oils and moisture to hot water. Although it is disappointing, lukewarm, not just for the heels, is better for your entire body.
- After you have finished bathing, moisturize immediately
It is best to seal in moisture and heal your skin while it is still damp. The moisturizer acts as a barrier, allowing the product to stay within the skin. Hydrated skin absorbs the product faster. In this instance, one is not enough. You should moisturize your heels at least twice a day and wear thin, cotton socks to protect them.
- Use a winter moisturizer
Hot, humid months require a lighter moisturizer. However, fall and winter bring with them the chill, dry air, and central heat. These creams are greasier so make sure to use less and apply it well. You should look for ingredients such as mineral oil, jojoba oils, lanolins, beeswax and glycerine. These emollients soften the skin, replace oils and seal in moisture. Aquaphor, Eucerin and Cetaphil are some of the most popular brands. Flip flops and socks are a good option if you don’t like the idea that excess greasiness could transfer to your floors or beds.
WebMD recommends “marinating cracked heels with petroleum jelly,” wrapping them in plastic wrap, and sleeping in socks until desired results are achieved.
- Use a heel sleeve or foot mask
The foot mask is for you if you are okay with major skin peeling (and some residual itching). Many people swear by its ability to remove the outer layer of your feet, revealing the soft baby skin beneath. Caution: This mask can cause skin irritations if you have sensitive skin. Read the reviews before applying. A moisturizing heel sleeve is a more subtle option.
You can do all of these things yourself. You might also want to invest in a salon pedicure to give your feet a rest and boost your motivation to keep them healthy throughout winter.