When you think of dry feet you think of the above picture.
However, when someone has dry feet the term is actually an umbrella for a wide range of types and reasons for them. Trying to find out what is causing your dry feet in the first place is a good place to start.
Because treatment is OK, but if there is an underlying reason of why you actually have dry feet then you can treat the cause which might actually help you in the long run.
The main types are:
Cracked heels are when dryness has gotten away from you a little bit. But it is also a lot more than dryness, other factors increase the production of callus and then the cracking which follows. You can find more info here.
Looks suspiciously like some dry skin, and it is, but the main factors which clear up dryness within the foot (emollients) would actually make the athletes foot worse. You can tell the main difference being:
- usually the area is itchy
- there are "pin prick" dots within the dry skin
- it spreads under and around your foot and inbetween your toes
You can find more info about athletes foot here.
4 other reasons why we get dry feet
Sometimes other reasons cause dryness to our feet. Here are the 4 most common reasons:
- Diabetes. Sometimes diabetics have drier feet (or sometimes more sweaty feet) due to them being diabetic. The nerves which regulate your sweating can be reduced (or increased) allowing your foot to be dry. So treatment will be ongoing.
- Psoriasis. Sometimes mimicking athletes foot, psoriasis can be kept under control using emollients or Dr prescribed medication
- Environment. If we live in a dry atmosphere (usually in winter times when the humidity is low) our skin can dry out causing dry feet. People who wear flip-flops and very warm summer months can usually cause dry feet or even athletes foot.
- Salt water. Daily salt water bathing of your feet with no medical reason to do so allows your feet to dry out quite quickly. Some people then put cream on them to hydrate them more only to go back to daily salt water foot bathing.
- Allergy. Sometimes peeling of the skin is due to allergies within shoes or what your feet have come into contact with.
Some of the best treatment methods for dry feet are the simplest:
- Figure out why you have dry feet in the first place. Is it athletes foot?
- Any type of "emollient" type of cream for skin is helpful. Initially you might need to apply it daily then you can ease off and then apply every other day/ twice a week
- Actually use emollients. One patient stated they only use cream once a month and wondered why their dry feet didn't get better
- Put the cream on top and underneath your feet but not inbetween your toes. It is already damp inbetween there, doesn't need anything else
- Sometimes the Dr can prescribe stronger emollients which help to reduce some of the dryness as well as moisturise
- Some patients put socks on at night over their moisturised feet. I think it helps but also it wreaks socks. When you are watching TV (most shows are 30-45 minutes long), where it is safe put your feet up and apply the cream and allow it to soak in (careful of furniture etc). Don't put too much on as it wont all soak in.
If you are concerned, or you have had dry skin for a long time then see a professional.
Dry feet getting cracked, check out the dry feet to cracked feet area.