During the colder months dry skin is a common experience. If you live in less humid areas (Northeast and Midwest states) it can seem like the dry skin heals only during the warmer, more humid months. Healing dry, loose skin on your feet is important not just because the condition can be extremely uncomfortable, but also because dry skin on the feet can lead to more severe conditions, such as cracked, bleeding heels.
Before beginning a regimen to heal dry, loose skin on your feet, you should closely monitor your symptoms. If you only have dry skin, you can easily treat that at home. However, if your dry skin is accompanied by rash-like bumps, severe itching, or other skin irritations, you should visit a dermatologist to make sure you don't have any other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. When healing dry, loose skin you may be tempted to take a long hot shower or bath as it seems to initially heal the skin. According to the article "Healing Dry Skin" by Christine Haran on ABCNews.com, the best way to begin healing dry skin on the feet is by taking quick, cool showers. Prolonged showers or baths suck the moisture out of your skin, causing your feet to dry out even faster. Instead, take quick, cool showers once a day (if you can) and blot the water off your feet instead of rubbing it off with a towel. Use a bath or shower gel that contains petrolatum as it quickly restores the moisture in your skin.
After a quick shower, moisturize with product that contains petrolatum. Although you may not like the feel of petrolatum products (they tend to feel greasy), you can also use products that contain lactic acid or urea. Apply these products liberally especially right after showering and before bed. To help keep your feet moisturized, apply moisturizing products at night and put on a pair of socks to wear while you sleep. The socks help keep the moisture from rubbing off on your bed linens and also help lock in moisture. You can also exfoliate using a pumice stone by gently rubbing the stone against your feet in a circular motion. Remember, be gentle. Rubbing too hard can abrade the skin and increase the discomfort associated with dry skin.
Clothing and Shoes
Finally, you should wear shoes that offer your feet the most support and protect them from cold, dry air. Paradoxically enough, you should also wear cotton socks if you can, to allow more air to circulate around your feet. The warmer air inside your shoes is fine for the skin on your feet; it's the colder, drier air that can cause dryness and eventual cracking.