If you’re suffering from dry, cracked feet, you’re not alone.
It’s a fairly common condition, that can be as simple as dry skin to painful, peeling or flaking areas of the skin and/or red, itchy patches. It most commonly occurs on the heels, ball of foot, or sides of the foot.
Dry skin, is usually considered a cosmetic problem, but if left untreated it can lead to a variety of far more serious problems.
Dry feet are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. There are several common factors that can lead to dry feet, including:
- Excessively hot showers or baths
- Skin conditions such as eczema
- Using non-moisturizing soaps
- Medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease
- Cold weather
- Physical Stress
- Low humidity
- Lengthy exposure to the sun
Treatment For Dry or Cracked Feet
Treating dry feet usually begins with treating the underlying cause. Some people naturally have dry skin and must constantly take extra steps to ensure that their feet are moisturized at all times. The most common solution for dry feet is a therapeutic oil, ointment, or cream.
Most lotions are not recommended for dry feet because they contain alcohol, which can dry the skin further. Baby lotion is usually acceptable since it does not contain chemicals that irritate the skin. Additional treatments may include:
- Topical creams: Ointments, lotions, or oils
- Pumice stones: These stones, can be used to remove some of the excess dead skin that is preventing proper healing.
- Socks:In order to allow moisturizing agents to work more effectively and to prevent moisture loss, it is recommended that the area in question be kept covered throughout the day.
- Orthotics: In some cases, a custom made orthotic can redistribute pressure abnormalities on the heel that may be contributing to dry skin.
If your feet have calluses, cracked skin, wounds, or rashes, or dry skin that does not improve, an evaluation by a podiatrist is recommended.