Dry skin on any area of the body can be uncomfortable, but dry skin on your feet can make your day completely miserable -- especially if you walk a lot or must be on your feet for long periods of time. Dry feet can be caused by several different factors, including some serious health problems. Consult your doctor if you experience foot dryness that is disrupting your life in any way.
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Foot dryness can manifest itself in several different ways. You may experience scaling, chapping, itching, a thicker layer of skin in certain spots and pain. Visually, the skin on your foot may appear wrinkled and cracked or have white spots or lines.
Dry skin on your feet may be caused by something as basic as genetics or taking hot baths and showers, or as dangerous as hypothyroidism and diabetes. You may also suffer from foot dryness because of psoriasis, dehydration or a fungal infection such as athlete’s foot. The way you wear your shoes and place your feet as you walk may be a cause of dry, cracked heels.
The risk of infection in your feet is increased if the dryness causes cracking. A split or crack in an extremely dry foot is an ideal entry point for infection. If you are diabetic, you must pay special attention to your feet and inform your doctor if dry patches form.
Home treatments for dry feet include applying an oil-based moisturizer or antifungal cream or powder if you have dryness and scaling from athlete’s foot. Other treatments that may offer relief are using a humidifier in your room to increase the moisture in the air, adding a bath oil to your tub to infuse your feet with moisture or trying different footwear if you feel that is the problem.
Visit your doctor if you are unsure of the origin of your foot dryness. It is important to rule out anything serious before moving forward with standard dry skin treatment. Avoid soaking your feet for any length of time as it will tend to dry out the natural oils in your skin.