One particular ailment that is seen on a regular basis from my patients is dry feet. It is unfortunate that such an easily solved condition still manages to plague so many toes, heels, arches, and ankles. Not only does dry skin feel uncomfortable but can lead to cracks in the skin. Why do I care about dry skin that end up with cracks? Not only do patients complain about the unsightliness of their xerotic lower limbs but the cracks are a break down in the skin, and skin is your first barrier against infection. Once the pathogens pass the open skin barrier it has an easier time making a home and causing more chaos, in the form of infected wounds.
First, remove the buildup of excess skin on your heels, and other high-pressure areas. This can be accomplished simply by using a cream with a mild emollient. A common skin softener found in moisturizers is urea. Only use the urea on the tough thick areas of your skin. In our office, we carry a range of moisturizers but one for corns and calluses that has a higher concentration of urea than other drug store brands.
A pumice stone can be used in conjunction with the urea cream. Select a pumice bar with medium coarseness, one that is too rough might cause more damage to your feet. It is best to use the pumice stone after taking a shower, or the day following urea cream use because this is when your skin is the most supple.
Finally, use a good moisturizer and use it regularly. Moisturizer does not need to bear a fancy name or an exotic scent to be effective, most basic moisturizers do the trick. Often lotions with fragrances are the source of skin irritation. Look for moisturizers with as many of the following ingredients; jojoba, ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. The best time to moisturize is right after a shower. Once the lotion is on your feet cover with socks to hold the moisture. For socks that even assist with moisturizing the feet, ask any Frederick Foot & Ankle employee to show you the Moisturizing Gel Socks, sold in the My New Feet store.
If the thickness of your calluses is no match for a pumice stone and you need professional help the podiatrists at Fredrick Foot & Ankle are a prime resource. As podiatrists, we are all trained to recommend the best foot products for you and can even skillfully remove any hard thickened skin from your feet and toes. With a little extra effort, your feet will thank you and you will be ready for sandal weather.