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Mailbag! How to Repair Dry “Winter Feet”

My feet get dry and crack year-round, but especially in the winter time. Do you have any tips?

–Ellen from Richmond, VA

Ellen,

You are not alone.

When surveyed, over 50 percent of Americans say suffer from xerosis (excessively dry skin). And it’s true that it worsens in the wintertime as humidity drops. We also spend more time indoors, which can cause skin to become dry as well.

Keeping your skin moisturized is important because your skin protects your body from infection and disease. Dry skin can be an invitation to bacteria and toxins. Not only that, but it can be uncomfortably itchy and painful (and leave you feeling self-conscious).

While you often hear that dry skin is the result of not drinking enough water, I rarely see this as the cause. Most people drink enough water. If you don’t think you drink enough water, or are on a diuretic, then consider paying closer attention to how much you drink.

Sometimes xerosis can be a symptom of a diseases, such as diabetes or a fungal infection. It can also be a side effect of some medications. I suggest talking with your doctor to rule out these culprits.

In the meantime, I do have some suggestions that might help.

First, check your body care products. Dry skin can be caused by harsh cleansers, which includes anything from the soaps you use in the shower to detergents you use for your clothes. Try moving to more natural soaps and detergents.

Next, turn down your water heater or take cooler showers. Hot water will also dehydrate your skin, so turn down the temperature if you can tolerate it.

Then, try adding some healthy fats to your diet. The better the fats you put into your body, the better your body holds on to moisture. Almost everyone should take a fish oil supplement. I recommend taking 1 to 3g a day. Besides that, you want to avoid all vegetable oils, and cook with only avocado oil or olive oil.

Finally, vitamin E and zinc are well-known to boost skin health– give those a try as well.

 

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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