THE FACTS ON DRY, ROUGH & CRACKED SKIN:
WHAT IS DRY, ROUGH & CRACKED SKIN?
Dry, rough, and cracked skin is a common skin condition that is inconvenient but can be managed. If left untreated, dermatitis can become worse. In particular, the skin on our feet do not have oil glands, so it relies on sweat and transpired moisture to keep feet moisturized. This can be problematic for people who do not properly moisturize their feet on a regular basis or who have a medical condition such as athlete’s foot that can cause excess dryness in affected areas.
Dry, rough & cracked skin on feet is often temporary, but depending upon your age, health status, activities and the environment can be a lifelong issue. Signs and symptoms of dry feet depend on your age, your health, the environment you live in, time spent outdoors, and the cause of the problem. Some of the symptoms of dry feet, especially when it comes to dry, cracked feet, include skin that looks and feels rough, a feeling of skin tightness after bathing, scaling, peeling, or flaking (light to severe), fine lines or cracks, or deep cracks that may bleed and become painful, itchiness and/or redness, gray or ashy skin, if you have dark skin. Problems can often worsen in winter months.
WHAT CAUSED DRY, ROUGH & CRACKED SKIN?
In most cases, dry skin or fissures, is not a serious condition, but it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable depending on where it is. In general, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that you can control and is usually only temporary. However, there are a few contributing factors specific to dry, cracked skin on feet, toes, and heels:
- Athlete’s Foot.
- Lack of moisture.
- Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc that can affect your heel health.
- Aging skin.
- Wearing open-back shoes.
- Wearing shoes that cause a lot of friction on your heels.
- Being overweight.
- Dry, warm
- Improper foot care.
- Prolonged standing on hard floors.
HOW TO PREVENT ROUGH, DRY OR CRACKED SKIN?
Here are a few simple remedies to relieve and treat dry, rough and cracked skin:
- Moisturize: Moisturizers create a barrier that keeps moisture from escaping from your skin. You should moisturize the affected area several times a day, especially while your skin is still moist after a shower. Pat yourself dry, then apply. Thicker and heavier moisturizers work best or try oils for a longer-lasting barrier.
- Take warm, short baths: Long baths or showers in hot water take the natural oils out of your skin, leaving you feeling dryer. Keep your bathing time to 5-10 minutes and use warm (not hot!) water.
- Use gentle soaps: Avoid harsh, drying soaps in favor of more gentle cleansers. Some soaps even have added oils or fats for added moisturizing. Antibacterial soaps, fragrances, and alcohol are all drying.
- Try a humidifier: Indoor air can be hot and dry, which can make itching and flaking worse.
- Go natural: Fibers like cotton and silk let your skin breathe and are less irritating.
- To calm the itch you may wish to speak to your pharmacists for over the counter medicines that may help manage itching and inflammation.
- Drink plenty of water.
Dry, rough and cracked skin on feet can heal on its own. For more severe cases of rough, dry, or cracked skin, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.