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Dry Feet: Causes & Treatment

Dry skin is also called xerosis. Many people experience dry feet during winter but this skin condition can happen all year-round. Dry feet do not just a cosmetic problem but can cause painful cracked heels. A daily foot skin care treatment can help you heal and prevent this foot problem.

Causes of Dry Feet

-Medical conditions: Skin diseases such as Athlete’s foot and psoriasis cause the skin on your feet to become dry. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that results in flaky, dry, and itchy feet. Athlete’s foot affects not just athletes but anyone because the fungus that cause this skin disease can be found on floors and clothing.

Psoriasis is caused by the disorder of the immune system which results in a rapid build-up of dry skin. This dry skin becomes thick and leads to cracked heels.

Certain diseases such as diabetes and thyroid also cause dry feet. People with diabetes usually experience severe dry skin symptoms. Hypothyroidism reduces the activity of your sweat and sebaceous glands, leading to rough, dry skin.

- Water: Household water contains Chlorine which is used to kill off possible diseases in water. Residual chlorine in bathing water can cause dry skin on face, body and feet. Chlorinated water, especially in swimming pools, also worsens Psoriasis condition.

 - Bathing: Every time that you have a bath or a shower you are exposing yourself to Chlorine. Excessive bathing or bathing with too hot water also strip natural oils from the skin, making your foot skin dry.

- Soap: Soap tends to dry out the skin. The pH of normal skin ranges from 4 to 6.5 while most soaps are alkaline and have a pH factor of 9 to 11. When the skin fails to balance the pH, it becomes dry.

- Age: As you age, the skin produces less oil and thus becomes drier. The skin loses its suppleness and rapidly reacts to the changing environment and temperatures.

- Environmental factors: Skin tends to dry out in cold, dry weather, and in other conditions with low level of humidity. Heaters and air conditioners also dry out the air, enhancing evaporation of moisture from the skin.

How to Heal Dry Feet?

- Soak: Soak your feet in warm water and soap every evening. Use a mild soap with a pH value of 4.0 to 6.5 or the statement “pH balanced”. Soak your feet in the soapy water for 10 minutes. Then rinse off thoroughly. This will soften the dirt and the dead skin.

You can also make a homemade foot soak by mixing 4 cups of warm water, 3 cups of milk, and one cup of honey. Soak 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off. This will significantly improve the moisture in the skin.

 - Exfoliate: Apply a foot scrub to your feet and massage in a circular motion. Use a pumice stone or sand stone to file the hard dry skin at the bottom of your feet to allow the moisturizers to better penetrate the skin. Rinse off and dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes.

- Moisturize: Apply a super-rich moisturizer that contains cocoa butter, Vitamin E, or Shea butter. Massage your feet until the moisturizer is entirely absorbed. If your feet are very dry, put petroleum jelly on top of the moisturizer. Wear socks and keep them on throughout the night.

If you suspect athlete’s foot, use an over-the-counter cream that can be used to kill fungus.


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