To survive in a desert climate, did you know that a camel can drink up to 32 gallons of water in one session and then go a week or more without it? They store fat in the hump that can be metabolized for energy, their body temperature fluctuates so they don’t sweat and lose water throughout the day and their wide feet help them walk on sand. A camel is an interesting animal! If you live in a desert climate, what are you doing to make sure you have desert friendly feet that can survive the “elements?”
A dry climate such as that in Palm Desert, CA usually brings warm and dry weather. If you were to move here from a cooler, more humid area, you would most likely notice changes to your skin. A lack of humidity in the desert can lead to skin becoming dry and itchy. Your feet are particularly vulnerable to this, because sandals and open shoes such as flip-flops are often the shoe of choice in warm weather. The ball of the foot, bottom of the big toe and heel are at risk for dry, callused skin. To keep your feet soft and to avoid painful cracks that could develop, make sure to be using a rich moisturizer on your feet every day. It is a good idea to apply one after showering in the evening and then put on a pair of socks so the moisturizer can be absorbed overnight. Walking around barefoot can cause calluses to form more quickly, too, so keep your feet protected. Out in the sun, do not forget your sunscreen above all else. This should become habit and your feet cannot be forgotten!
Now, the opposite can be true in warm weather when your feet are stuffed inside shoes—sweaty feet can be problematic as they can lead to blisters and create an environment perfect for fungal infections. Do your best to keep feet clean and dry with moisture-wicking socks and an anti-fungal powder if necessary.
Harvey R. Danciger, DPM is an expert in desert friendly feet, as our podiatric office is located in the heart of Coachella Valley, CA. For more information on finding the balance between dry and sweaty feet, or treatment for a foot problem, call us today at (760) 568-0108.
Photo Credit: coralsea via rgbstock.com