As much as we don’t want to admit it, winter is coming! As the seasons change skin and nails become very sensitive and can become very dry and cracked. This is not only uncomfortable, but can be a risk for infection when the integrity of the skin has been breached. The following are recommendations for skin and nail care for the winter months:
1. Use moisturizer twice daily on your feet and legs. A heavy moisturizer that is formulated for feet is recommended since this will cling to the skin and not allow the air to contact the skin.
2. Push cuticles back gently and use a cuticle oil to soften and maintain moisture. Avoid cutting the cuticles as this can make them jagged and can allow for infections.
3. Remove nail polish and allow the nails time to “rest”. Now is the time to allow your nails a break from being covered with nail polish. Examine the nail itself. Any white discoloration or areas where the nails are not adhered to the underlying skin is cause for concern for a fungal infection and this is best treated when mild.
4. Examine your skin for any moles or birthmarks that may have changed size, color, texture or bleed. These are all concerns for skin cancer and all suspicious skin lesions should have a biopsy.
See your podiatrist with any concerns of cracking, skin discoloration, concerning moles or birthmarks, change in the color or texture of nails or problems with the skin or cuticles.
Ann Anderson, DPM, FACFAS, APWCA