Editor’s note: Dr. Kayla Emter, podiatrist/foot & ankle surgeon at Jamestown Regional Medical Center, shares tips on how to shop for children’s shoes. As a student, Dr. Emter struggled with painful bunions, which required surgery. Form that experience, she wanted a career in the medical field so she could educate and help others. Today, Dr. Emter is qualified through the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association.


Image of JRMC Podiatrist/Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Kayla Emter.
Image of JRMC Podiatrist/Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Kayla Emter.

Dry heels can look like a winter storm.

If “snow” flies every time you remove your socks or your partner tells you to stop rubbing your feet against him/her in bed, chances are the winter got the best of your feet.

Winter is notorious for causing dry skin and cracks in your heels. Not only can cracks in the heels/skin be painful, but it can also be hazardous. Bacteria and viruses can infect any break in the skin, including cracks in the heels. Infections can be detrimental in a healthy individual, let alone diabetics or others with compromised immune systems who struggle to fight infections.



Other than the dry weather, the following can contribute to dry skin:

  • Going barefoot or wearing sandals.
  • Using a skin moisturizer that has alcohol as one of its ingredients. Alcohol is a drying agent and is contained within many of those pretty-smelling lotions that we are more apt to use because of their scent.
  • Body wash can also be another instigator for drying out the skin. A harsh body wash removes the natural oils from the skin that otherwise help keep it hydrated.

Nothing feels better than a hot shower during the dead of winter, but it is also another culprit for drying out the skin.


  • The best time to work on dead skin, particularly the heels, is after bathing when the skin is at its softest. Use a pumice stone to gently remove dead skin and apply moisturizer.
  • Another tip is to wear socks to bed after using a moisturizer to help lock moisture into the feet.
  • Consistency and massaging into the feet is also key to regaining your soft, silky skin. If you’re lucky your partner will volunteer to massage your feet during your lotion application… hey, we all can dream, right?

Know that studies show: care is better close to home. Jamestown area residents need not to travel for specialty services. If you or someone you love needs relief, contact the JRMC Clinic at (701) 952-4878. Schedule a free injury screening at (701) 952-4800.


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