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Dry skin on the Foot

The skin holds a certain amount of water. This water is needed to keep the skin supple and able to withstand the different types of pressure that it is placed under. The water content of the skin can decrease causing the skin to become dry and sometimes itchy.

What is dry skin on the foot:

Dry skin is obvious - everyone knows what it looks like. It may cause other symptoms, such as scaling, redness and chapping. Dry skin can crack and fissure which can be a portal of entry for an infection to get in (this is particularly important in the foot, due to the warm moist environment of footwear which encourages infection). The skin can be itchy, especially if there is also a fungal infection. Around the heel and if the skin is thicker, cracks in the heel can occur.

What causes foot dry skin:

Some people just have a skin that is dryer than others  - they have a genetic predisposition to just develop dry skin. As people get older, the skin tends to become drier. Long, hot baths and showers also tend to make the skin direr.

If dry skin is scaling and itchy, this may indicate a fungal infection (athletes foot). Psoriasis also causes a dry scaling of the skin. Some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes can also predispose to dry skin.


Self management:

The best way to treat dry skin on the foot is to soak thoroughly while bathing or showering. Try to use very little soap and limit the amount of time in the water. After patting skin dry with a towel, apply a moisturizer or emollient to the foot. An oil based emollient is preferable. For maximum effect it should be applied daily.

If a fungal infection is the problem, then drying the foot is even more important. An antifungal powder or cream should be used.

Advice on the management of cracked heels is here.


Links of relevance to foot dry skin:

Find a podiatrist

Poor circulation

Athletes foot

Diabetes foot care

Ask a question in the foot health forum about dry skin on the foot


Buy products to help dry skin on the foot:

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ePodiatry is purely a source of information and should at no time be considered as replacing the expertise of a health professional. We recommend seeking professional advice for all foot problems before embarking on any form of self treatment or management. Neither the content or any other service provided through ePodiatry is intended to be relied on for medical diagnosis or treatment. Do not delay in seeking health professional advice because of something seen on ePodiatry.
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