As the end of the year approaches we find ourselves bundling up in hats, gloves and scarves as well as turning on our seat warmers and
heat. Turning on our heat results in dry air inside our home which when combined with the lack of humidity outside finds us suffering from dry skin or xerosis.
Dry skin is most common in the winter months as well as with older individuals. Patients living with diabetes are also at an increased
risk due decreased sweat gland activity. Overbathing, central heat, cold, dry winters and dehydration can all contribute to red or white, flaky, cracked, peeling, painful skin.
Our skin needs moisture to stay smooth. Rough, dry skin is usually a minor problem but can be quite uncomfortable. Patients usually
present to our office this time of year with cracks in their heels (fissures) and calluses (thickened skin). Quick and easy ways to
improve your skin’s appearance and alleviate these symptoms is taking shorter showers and using a moisturizing, urea based cream daily.
Sometimes the thickened, dry skin needs to be shaved down to relieve some of the pressure and discomfort. This type of procedure should
never be attempted at home (bathroom surgery) nor a nail salon.
Gel socks, daily cream applications and regularly scheduled podiatric visits can help keep your feet happy this time of year.