During winter the environment becomes dry causing your skin to dry. This is the reason of cracks appear around the heels and of the skin beneath the feet. Cracked heels cause pain, burning sensation and sometimes are very painful to walk.
Sometimes infection takes place in the cracked area. Diseases like uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid, psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections also lead to severe foot crack during winter.
People with obesity suffer more from this. Besides, too much cold and low humidity in the atmosphere, exposed and poor fitting foot wears increase the risk of this trouble.
The don’ts during winter:
• Scalding hot water dries the skin more. Use lukewarm water for bathing or cleaning feet.
• Take maximum 5-10 minutes for shower. It is unwise to dip the feet into water for longer period.
• Using harsh soaps and too much rubbing will increase dryness.
• Don’t walk around barefoot or with open-back sandals in the wintry atmosphere.
• Don’t try to exfoliate the skin with rough materials. It may cut the skin. Diabetic patients should take the help of the specialists to exfoliate the dead skin of the feet.
• Clean your feet and gently pat them dry. Smear enough moisturiser and foot-balm to maintain softness of the skin and moisture. Petroleum jelly, coconut oil, olive oil and glycerin are useful to prevent heel cracks.
• Apply moisturiser and put on cotton socks before going to sleep.
• Seeking a dermatologist’s help during bleeding or infection in the feet is the best.
*Mohammad Asifuzzaman is a dermatologist at Green Life Medical College and Hospital. This piece appeared in the print version of Prothom Alo has been re-written in English by Faria Islam.