My feet are dryer than...
A. A pack of crackers
B. Reused dryer sheets
C. Stale bread
D. My sense of humor
If any or all of the above answers apply to you, it's time to moisturize your feet. It may come as a surprise, but our feet don't have oil glands, which means the skin is naturally dry. Without moisturizing it, you may experience itchiness, redness, cracks, flaking and peeling, or rashes, especially in the winter months. To combat these symptoms, moisturize your feet and avoid scratching and rubbing your skin.
Although uncomfortable, most cases of dry skin aren't serious. Typical culprits are excessive hot showers, the use of non-moisturizing soap, and harsh laundry detergents—all things you can easily fix. Other causes include aging, medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease, and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Too much exposure to sunlight and too little humidity in the home or office can also have an effect.
If your skin is chronically dry and pain becomes severe, you may have inherited a disorder known as ichthyosis. Ask your loved ones if they’ve dealt with this irritation. Severely dry skin may result in persistent itching and burning sensations. Expensive medications, however, are not the only answer.
Here are some things you can do at home to treat your feet. Pay attention to humidity levels, be conscious of water temperatures when bathing, and stay hydrated. Apply lotion daily, but be sure to read the labels. Moisturizers commonly contain alcohol, which will cause irritation, burning, and further dryness. Therapeutic oils, ointments, creams, or baby lotion are best. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe and avoid placing them by heating units. Be sure to also avoid refreshments that contain caffeine and alcohol.
If your feet are becoming dry, cracked, and painful, contact the Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists of Arizona. Ask us about home remedies and other ways to manage your dry feet. Reach us by calling the Chandler office at (480) 963-9000 or our Gilbert location at (480) 981-1800.