The Final Diagnosis & Proper Care You Need
Its not always easy to tell if your feet are just naturally dry or if you are suffering from another issue. A prime example of this is foot peeling, which could be both a symptom of dry skin conditions like eczema and the result of excessive moisture from a condition like hyperhidrosis. Confusing, right?
Here at Foot & Ankle Group, our skilled podiatrists can get to the bottom of your dry feet cause and offer the treatment options you need for quick relief.
Give us a call to set up an appointment at 239.936.5400, today.
Common Home Remedies For Dry Feet
Here are some common home remedies to help you with your condition. Consult with your doctor about any home remedy before trying it:
- Soak your feet in lemon juice for approximately ten minutes. Lemon juice is a mild acid that helps to dissolve dead and dry skin for easy removal. Use a loofah or soft foot brush to scrub your feet after youre done soaking them. You may want to wait until any cuts or trauma have healed before trying this.
- Combine a spoonful of olive oil and a few drops of lemon or lavender oil to create a moisturizing cracked-heel cream. Shake the ingredients until they form a thick, milky solution and use when needed. Shake before each use.
- Apply vegetable oil to your feet after bathing, especially in the area of the cracks. After application, wear thick socks. Try doing this at night before bed and wearing your socks to bed. You should see results within a few days.
- Combine one teaspoon of Vaseline and juice from one whole lemon. Wash your feet and pat them dry before applying. Apply to the dry areas and heels of your feet until youve used the entire batch. You should do this just before bed and wear wool socks to lock in the moisture. The wool will also prevent your sheets from becoming stained. The oils in the mixture will soften the dry areas. Exfoliate in the morning. Do this as recommended by your doctor.
Dry Feet Treatment: Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Feet
Caring for your feet can help keep them smooth and callus-free. Dead skin cells build up on neglected feet which can form thick, cracked areas on the heels or soles of the feet. These can, over time, become uncomfortable and can even make walking painful and difficult.When caring for dry skin on feet it’s important to establish a good routine that includes targeted cleansing as well as moisturising. Sweat and dirt can become trapped in the dead cells which can attract bacteria and odour, and further cause dry feet. Heres a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of dry skin on feet and prevent it from forming:
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Skin Structure & Ageing
We all have different types of skin structure from oily to dry and this will impact how dry the skin on your feet is. As we age our skin also becomes thinner and less elastic. On our feet the fat pad that protects the sole of our foot also becomes thinner, resulting in increased skin stress causing a build up of dry damaged skin.
Tips To Take Care Of The Dry Skin On Your Feet
Winter is the time of year when we see many of patients at our Oakville / Halton area Foot Clinic complaining about dry skin on their feet and ankles. Many people have concerns that it is unsightly, but in reality skin that is dry is more likely to become itchy, have rashes and even infections. This is because extremely dry skin on the feet, especially the heel, can develop painful cracks in the skin . The cracks in the skin of the heel and foot are more prone to bleeding and becoming infected.
Its important to recognize and take care of dry skin on the foot early. Dry skin is also more prone to developing painful calluses. For these reasons, moisturizing the feet is important. Here are some tips from our Chiropodist for adding much needed moisture to the skin of the feet :
How To Diagnose Athlete’s Foot Vs Dry Skin
Even though these two conditions appear similar at first glance, doctors can often diagnose the cause with a visual examination. Sometimes theyll want to do a few tests to confirm the best course of treatment and to rule out underlying concerns.
In many cases, your doctor can diagnose athletes foot by looking at your skin. If they cant diagnose the condition by sight, they will order testing. There are a few tests that can help diagnose athletes foot, such as:
- Taking a small sample of the infected skin, placing it in a potassium hydroxide solution, and checking the sample under the microscope
- Staining a skin sample to identify any fungus
- Performing a skin culture
Diagnosing dry skin generally involves a medical exam and review of your medical history. Your doctor will go over your symptoms, including when they started, what makes your dry skin worse or better, your diet, and your skincare routine. If your doctor suspects that an underlying condition is the cause of your dry skin, they may order extra testing, such as for diabetes or thyroid issues.
- Keeping your feet dry and cool
- Wearing sandals when using a public pool or shower
- Wearing shoes that breathe well
Treatment for dry skin varies based on the cause. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist. Other treatments may include:
How To Remove Dead Skin
‘Always start treatments when your feet are dry. This is a new concept to most people, but, when you consider the reasons why, it makes perfect sense wet skin masks the areas that need treating, meaning that you can’t see the callus of dry skin areas as well,’ says Dabbs.
When removing hard skin from your feet, file areas of thickened or calloused skin towards the mid-line of your foot once a week.
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How Are My Dry Feet Treated
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:
- Applying lotion to feet after bathing
- Using mild moisturizing soaps for skin
- Staying hydrated
Talk with your doctor about home remedies. Spearmint, eucalyptus oil, and pumice stones can be used, but only under the guidance of your physician. Treatment for your dry feet may be as simple as treating an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease.
If you are diabetic, you may be more prone to foot problems. Controlling your diabetes can prevent dry skin on your feet.
What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Athlete’s Foot Vs Dry Skin
Athletes foot and dry skin can look and feel similarly when it comes to dry and itchy feet. A few symptoms can set them apart, though.
Athletes foot is generally characterized by red, itchy scales on your feet. The most common symptom is skin that cracks and flakes. You may also notice:
- Burning or stinging
- Skin that feels raw or stings
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Rinse Your Feet With Warm Water Every Day
How To Heal Cracked Feet Overnight
If your feet are painfully cracked it can be helpful to treat them overnight, while youre sleeping. Heres how:
1. Youll need to start by carefully removing the toughest parts of the calloused heels with scissors or nail clippers.
2. Then, use a pumice stone or metal nail file to further smooth the skin. These are best used right after a shower or bath when your skin is clean and the skin on your feet is much softer.
2. If your cracks have been bleeding, or are very deep, its a good idea to apply an antiseptic ointment and cover the area to avoid infection. This will also help to lock in moisture.
3. If the area isnt quite this bad, or your cracks have begun to heal a little, you can start to use a healing balm. Then slip on some 100% cotton socks for the night. This balm can be applied twice a day.
5. Its also often recommended that you buy a set of custom insoles to help reduce any pressure on your heels. You should also try to wear closed in shoes with cotton socks as much as possible. Avoiding flip-flops and open sandals.
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Medical Treatments For Cracked Heels
You should seek out medical treatment for cracked heels if you have been using at-home remedies for a week without any relief. Medical interventions for cracked heels include:
- Cutting away the hard and thick layer of skin, a process known as debridement.
- Wrapping the heel with bandages and dressings to reduce movement of the skin.
- Prescription urea or salicylic acid agents that soften the area.
- Insoles that can provide better support to the heel.
- A special type of tissue glue that is designed to hold the cracks together, allowing them to heal.
How To Prevent Cracked Heels
Once youve gotten those heels back on track, how can you keep them that way? Heres how to establish a heel care routine that will help ensure that your feet are sandal-ready any time of year.
Moisturize twice a day
Yes, really! Twice a day. Dr. Andrasik recommends trying an exfoliating moisturizer like an over-the-counter urea cream or AmLactin® lotion, which will help remove dead skin and keep those heels soft and supple.
Keep wearing socks to bed
That sock habit is one you should adopt more often, not just when your heels are in need. You may not think of socks as a protective garment, but they help protect your feet from the outside world.
Socks add an additional layer between your skin and the environment and can limit damage to the outer layer of the skin, Dr. Andrasik says.
Take it easy on the tools
The skin care aisle is full of products that claim to soften and smooth your feet. But are callus shavers, graters, pumice stones or electronic foot files safe? Dr. Andrasik says these tools are OK when used as directed and in moderation. But youre not trying to grate your feet like a fine Parmesan!
They can be used on either wet or dry feet, he says. Just dont file over any areas of inflamed, itchy or sensitive skin, which can make things worse.
An occasional foot peel is OK
They can be done safely but should be avoided if you have or are prone to other skin conditions. This includes:
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Apply Honey To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Feet
As a humectant, honey is richly moisturizing to the skin and is one of the best dry feet remedies. All you need to do is soak your feet regularly in honey solution as explained below:
How Is Dry Skin Treated
Treatment for dry skin focuses on rehydrating or bringing moisture back to your skin. Treatment for dry skin could include:
- Using moisturizers: Moisturizers are the main form of treatment for most types of dry skin. They smooth and soften dry skin to help prevent cracking and work to recreate your natural skin barrier. Moisturizing products come in ointments, creams, lotions and oils and include ingredients like emollients, which soothe and hydrate your skin, and hyaluronic acid, which increases moisture in your skin
- Taking medications: For extremely dry skin thats itchy or prone to cracking, your healthcare provider may prescribe a topical steroid, which acts to decrease the swelling in your skin that causes a rash and itching. In severe cases, oral or injectable medication may be appropriate.
What type of lotion or moisturizer is best for dry skin?
There are several different moisturizer options available if you have dry skin. When choosing a moisturizer for your dry skin, look for products that:
When choosing a moisturizer, remember that your skin is unique and a product that works for someone else might not be best for you and your skin. Your healthcare provider or your dermatologist can help you choose skin care products designed for you and your dry skin.
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Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize
There could be many reasons why your skin is still dry after using a lotion or a moisturizer, including:
- The moisturizer youre using contains ingredients that dont work for your skin type, including isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol or sulfates.
- Youre washing your skin too frequently, or using water thats too hot, which can lead to dry skin.
- Youre not moisturizing your skin enough throughout the day.
- Youre using the wrong kind of moisturizer for your skin. Use a thick moisturizer at night and a light moisturizer during the day.
- The moisturizer is expired.
- Your dry skin is a symptom of an underlying condition or a condition that needs treatment or management.
If youre having trouble treating your dry skin, talk with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Dry skin may look rough and flaky and itchy and uncomfortable. Fortunately, dry skin causes few long-term problems. Although its typically a chronic condition, dry skin is very manageable. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to prevent and soothe your dry skin. If other conditions, like eczema, cause dry skin, your healthcare provider can prescribe medications and offer tips to treat the condition.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/23/2022.
Soak Your Feet Once A Week
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What Causes Dry Skin
A lack of moisture within the layers of your skin causes dry skin. Factors that cause dry skin include:
- Age: As you age, your skins moisture-producing oil glands dry up. This causes the fat and collagen in your skin to also dry up, which leads to thinning skin. This is a natural part of your bodys aging process.
- Climate: The temperature of your environment can affect your skins hydration. Climates that lack humidity like desert-like climates or cold climates where theres heavy wind cause dry skin. Dry skin is often worse during the winter, but dry skin can occur year-round.
- Health conditions and genetics: You could be more at risk of getting dry skin if youre born with genes that make you more prone to it or you have a health condition that causes dry skin as a symptom. Some conditions that lead to dry skin include allergies, eczema, diabetes and kidney disease.
- Occupations: Certain professions can lead to dry skin, especially if you work outdoors, with chemicals or wash your hands frequently. Some professions that make you more likely to develop dry skin include healthcare providers, hairstylists and farmers.
Rub Your Feet With Overripe Banana
Overripe bananas may not be fit for human consumption but they may be just what you need to remove dry skin from feet. They also help to relieve cracked feet. If you are already wondering how to get rid of dry feet naturally with bananas, here are the steps to follow:
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How To Heal Dry Cracked Heels According To Dermatologists
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A long winter and spring stuck inside in the dry air may have made the skin on your feet, especially your heels, super dry dry enough to crack like a fault line. And while COVID-related self-isolation may tempt you to keep your feet hidden, cracks in your heels can fracture into deep cuts, or fissures, that can be pretty painful and even get infected. We asked board certified dermatologists Sheel Desai Solomon, MD, founder of Preston Dermatology & Skin Surgery in North Carolina and Samer Jaber, MD, founder of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City, what causes dry, cracked heels and the best treatment for dry heels.