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  • Writer's pictureBalmain Physiotherapy

Winter Foot Care: Say Goodbye to Dry, Cracked Feet

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the human body? It plays a vital role in safeguarding our bodies from external diseases, regulating temperature, and enabling our sense of touch. However, during the winter months, this essential organ faces additional challenges, leading to dry, rough, or flaky skin. In severe cases, inflammation and cracking can occur, attributed to reduced lipids and moisture retention in the skin, resulting in reduced elasticity and delayed healing.

While dehydration is often associated with sweaty summer days, winter can also leave us dehydrated, thanks to constant indoor heating. The warmth may be comforting, but it has the potential to dry out our skin, emphasising the importance of maintaining adequate water intake even during colder months. By adhering to the recommended daily water intake of 2 litres, we can better protect ourselves against the drying effects of winter air.

Frequent bathing or showering in hot water for extended periods can also exacerbate skin damage. The use of harsh soaps or detergents with high pH levels (7-12) can strip oils and fats from our skin. Opting for fragrance-free, gentle soap with a pH of 5.5 can help maintain a healthy skin barrier.

So, What Can We Do?

  1. Avoid direct heat: Position yourself away from fireplaces or heaters to prevent excessive drying of the skin.

  2. Limit bathing time: Keep baths and showers short, using warm water instead of hot, which can further deplete skin moisture.

  3. Use a humidifier: Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can help combat the drying effects of indoor heating.

  4. Moisturise regularly: Apply moisturisers or emollients daily, especially after bathing, to lock in moisture and maintain skin hydration.

  5. Choose gentle soap: Opt for fragrance-free, gentle soap with a pH of 5.5 to preserve the skin's natural oils.

  6. Protect from the cold: Wear wool or bamboo blend socks to insulate against the cold and protect your skin from harsh winter weather.

  7. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to support overall hydration and skin health.

If dry skin persists or worsens, it may be indicative of an underlying medical condition or medication side effects. Conditions such as atopic dermatitis or hypothyroidism can contribute to persistent dryness, requiring medical attention.

Taking care of your skin during winter is crucial for overall health and comfort, particularly for your feet. Dry, cracked feet can lead to discomfort and potential complications if left untreated. By following these simple tips and seeking professional advice if needed, you can protect your skin from the harsh effects of winter and ensure your feet remain healthy year-round.

At Sydney Allied Health, our team of expert podiatrists are dedicated to providing personalised care and tailored solutions to address your foot health concerns. Don't hesitate to schedule a consultation to receive the attention your feet deserve and keep them healthy throughout the seasons.


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