Houston’s Top Podiatrist Sherman Nagler’s Common Causes of Dry Winter Feet

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There are a number of reasons that feet become dry, callused and itchy during the winter. One or more causes may contribute to the condition.

Cold Weather Equals Artificial Heat: When the heat is turned on, and the windows closed, the air inside our homes and almost everywhere else we frequent on a day to day basis – schools, places of employment, stores, restaurants, the gym – loses its humidity. The result is that the skin on our bodies, and especially our extremities (feet and hands) dries out much more quickly than in the warmer, moister weather. And what develops? Scaly, dry, itchy, cracked and uncomfortable feeling feet.

Physical Stress: Even if it is cold outside, if the heat is on inside, the environment inside a shoe can become very warm, especially if you are wearing thick socks or nylon-based tights which reduce the “breath”. It can reach up to 120 degrees in a closed toed shoe! This heat results in water evaporation from the skin cells, which can thicken the top layer of skin.

Skin Cleansers: Certain brands of soap can strip protective oils from the skin or if cleansers are not completely washed off irritating residues can remain that contribute to dry skin.

Medical Conditions: Diseases, and metabolism disorders, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, and dietary deficiencies including vitamin A or the essential ALA and GLA fatty acids from digestive malabsorption, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, can also instigate dry feet.

Aging: OK. So, we blame everything on aging. But the hormonal and metabolic changes that do occur as we age tend to decrease turnover of skin cells, and skin’s outermost layer can become thickened. Also, as we age, thinning of the protective fat pad cushioning in the heel and ball of the foot can increase skin stress, leading to cracked, callused skin.

Nagler Foot Center has the best Foot treatment in Texas. 713.529.1010