SELFCARE

Foot care; Why you have hard, dry and cracked feet

Flaky skin is most common on the heels and feet soles as they have the least number of oil glands.

In Summary

• Understanding the causes will help you make the right decisions when it comes to foot care.

• Wearing ill-fitting shoes for long hours puts constant pressure on your feet.

Image: Courtesy: health.howstuffworks.com

Hard, dry and cracked feet can sometimes irritate and be a huge turnoff. Various types of hard skin tend to form under your feet due to constant pressure and friction.

For example, corns; small thick skin seen on the top or on the sides of your toes and can at times interfere with your walking.

Other types of corns are soft or grey, with a rubbery texture. They can appear between toes or on the surface of your feet.

Perhaps understanding the causes is what can help you make the right decisions when it comes to foot care.

Cracked feet due to dirt exposure and lack of moisturising
Cracked feet due to dirt exposure and lack of moisturising
Image: Courtesy: Buzzfeed.com

Lack of Moisture

Just like the way you moisturize your skin, your feet also need some moisturizer especially after you are from the shower.

Lack of moisture causes the cracked feet which are very painful.

Ensure you properly dry your feet to prevent athlete’s foot and then go in with a good moisturizer.

Petroleum jelly is also a good way to restore moisture to cracked heels.

Diabetes and other thyroid conditions can also cause dry feet cracked feet. This problem is caused by nerve damage that affects your body's ability to control the oil and moisture in your foot.

Flaky skin is most common on the heels and feet soles as they have the least number of oil glands. These areas do not receive enough moisture.

Dirt and dust exposure

This is especially caused if you walk barefoot or if you are always on open sandals and slippers.

Hard floors can also cause heel cracking and those with conditions such as diabetes and arthritis are more susceptible to it.

Exposure to heat and humidity

The chemicals in the detergent you use to wash your clothes with can  lead to cracked dry feet.

Not washing the excess soap off the feet leads to dryness.

Have a balance when it comes to wearing closed shoes or sandals.

Frequently wearing closed shoes creates a humid environment around your feet.

Heat and humid environment may draw out the skin moisture and cause them to become thick, dry, and cracked.

Irritation from tight shoes

Wearing ill-fitting shoes for long hours puts constant pressure on your feet.

It also causes excessive friction against the skin and can make it dry, hard, or calloused.

Aging

As we age, our skin loses the ability to retain moisture, making our skin thinner and less plump.

This is one reason older people while going through the natural aging process, more frequently experience dry and hard skin.

Weight gaining

Adding weight puts a lot of pressure on our feet. This added weight hinders blood circulation and cause feet to harden.

Diabetes footcare
Diabetes footcare
Image: Courtesy: sterishoe.com

Specific Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, eczema, and cancer may also cause the skin under the feet to become flaky and dry.

Some can be very painful and can hinder physical activities like walking.

Apply a generous amount of moisturizer to your feet after a shower or even before you go to bed. Then wear a good pair of cotton socks before bed.

Remember to follow these tips and treatments and your feet will soon thank you.

You can go to a spa and get them scrubbed then your job will be to maintain them.

But if your symptoms persist, visit a doctor to seek other possible treatment options.

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