If you suffer from chronic dry feet or cracked heels, you are not alone. According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment 20 percent of US adults ages 21 and older have experienced cracked skin on their feet. Women are affected by this condition more than men.
Dry skin is usually not a dangerous condition, but if your skin is cracking and bleeding, it can lead to an infection. This is especially dangerous for anyone with a lowered immune system or diabetes. Symptoms can include red or flaky patches, itchy, peeling or cracked skin. Fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot have similar symptoms, so check for blisters around your toes. If you do have blisters, make sure to use an antifungal medication to clear up the fungal infection.
Dry skin can be caused by the following:
- Improper fitting shoes
- Athlete’s foot
- Psoriasis, Eczema or other skin conditions
- Thyroid disease
- Household heat which reduces humidity and leads to drying
The best way to treat dry skin is with the proper ointments and creams. At Indy Podiatry we sell a couple of great, rich emollient creams specifically designed for dry and achy feet. Avoid using lotions, as these often contain alcohol which further dries the skin. Additional helpful tips include:
- Use a pumice stone to exfoliate the dead/dry skin and then apply moisturizing cream
- Wear socks while you sleep after applying a thick cream to your feet for better absorption
- Ensure you are wearing properly fitting shoes, and use orthotics to eliminate friction
- Avoid putting moisturizers between the toes as this can lead to fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot
- Avoid wearing open-backed shoes
If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office today at 317-573-4250 so that we can figure out the best treatment plan for you.