Colorado residents know about dry. Many areas are classified as desert because of the low rainfall, and the mesas, mountains, and plateaus are also rather arid. That puts us at risk for dry skin problems, including cracked heels. However, other things can also cause your skin to dry out. Knowing about them may help you avoid the pain of heel fissures. We’ll start with causes you can easily control:
- Dehydration – Make sure you are drinking enough water to replace what you are losing all the time through perspiration and respiration.
- Long, Hot Showers and Baths – Conserving water isn’t just good for the environment. Taking short warm showers is better for your skin, too. Turn the water off while shampooing, because running water is especially effective at stripping your skin of moisture.
- Harsh Soaps and Rough Toweling – Always use a mild moisturizing soup that won’t aggravate your skin cells. Then pat or blot your skin dry rather than rubbing with a towel, so you don’t damage the softened skin.
- Not Moisturizing – Your body needs a little help in drier climates. Use a good lotion, cream, or home preparation daily to soften and condition your skin.
- Ill-Fitting Shoes – The pressure of your weight on the soles of your feet can lead to cracked heels. When the skin is dry, it doesn’t expand with pressure—it cracks. Finding shoes that distribute the pressure away from hot spots can lessen stress in those areas. Custom orthotics can help with this as well.
Some origins of dry skin are a little harder to control, like your age. If you have diabetes, you are more prone to dry skin, too especially on your feet. That’s because nerve damage—a frequent complication of the disease—makes it harder for your body to regulate the sweat glands that provide moisture to your feet. Keeping your glucose levels under control will help head off nerve damage.
Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce stress on the dry tissues as well. Making sure you eat healthy to get the vitamins you need is also important.
If you have developed heel fissures that bleed, home care alone may not be enough to heal them. Let the foot specialists at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center help. Call (303) 423-2520 and set up an appointment at our Wheat Ridge or Golden, CO office today.