Monday, August 23, 2010

Dry Feet

By Dr. Sumaiya Khan

Dry feet can prove to be a very discomforting condition to deal with. Not only are they very unsightly but they also tend to cause a lot of pain while standing and walking. This dryness is usually accompanied by cracked heels which further makes walking a very painful task. There can be various conditions that lead to dry skin on feet. These factors range from medical diseases to pure disregard for foot care. Given below are details regarding the various factors that cause dryness in feet and how to cure dry feet.

Dry Feet Causes
  • Faulty footwear: One of the most causes of dry feet is the use of improper footwear. Shoes that are ill-fitting do not support the feet. This can happen when wearing either too tight or too lose shoes. The excess pressure on the balls and the toes of the foot leads to dry skin on feet.
  • Aging: As a person ages, the skin looses its suppleness and hence, it is more susceptible to damage. A change in the environment and in temperatures can easily adversely affect the skin of feet.
  • Athlete's foot: A common fungal infection, athlete's foot is an infection that affects the feet and results in flaky, scaly and itchy skin. This fungal infection results in blisters which can burst at any time, leading to pain, swelling and inflammation. People who walk bare-footed or who have moist feet for prolonged periods of time are more susceptible to get this infection. Read more on dry feet causes.
  • Bathing: Washing feet with very hot water results in the loss of the protective oil that covers the surface of skin of feet. This leads to excessive dryness on the surface of the skin. This may be seen if a person were to bathe frequently. This condition is especially aggravated if one were to use a lot of soap and other agents that tend to dry out the skin.
  • Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a skin condition where there is a disorder in the immune response of the body which causes lesions on the skin. This condition results in dry, itchy skin on feet which easily flakes and peels. Toenails are most frequently affected by this condition.
  • Other causes: Dry feet can also occur as a result of using certain medications, due to diseases like thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalance, change in metabolism, etc.
Dry Feet Treatment
  • One of the easiest methods of dealing with dry feet is to use moisturizers that will help restore the softness of feet. However, you first need to go in for dry feet peeling which will help get rid of the dead cell build up. You can do this by scrubbing off the dead skin. This can be done with the help of a pumice stone. When scrubbing off dead skin, try not to injure the healthy skin underneath. Cocoa butter and petroleum jelly works great on dry feet.
  • One thing that works wonders on dry and cracked feet is Epsom salt. Epsom salts are commonly used to treat severe cases of dry feet. Take some Epsom salt in a big vessel that contains lukewarm water. Now dip your feet in the water and keep them soaked for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, scrub the skin with a foot file to remove the dead cells.
  • Baking soda is one of the wondrous dry feet remedies that help to eliminate dryness. Take some water and add baking soda to it. Immerse your feet in this water for around half an hour. Then, wash with clean water and dry them. Read more on dry feet cure.
  • Dipping feet in a solution of vinegar also helps to restore softness of feet. Add one cup of white vinegar to around five liters of water. Add a drop of dish washing liquid to this solution. Soak your feet in this solution for about half an hour. After soaking, rinse your feet and pat them dry. You can then apply a lotion and wear socks and sleep peacefully knowing that your feet have been pampered well! Read more on cracked feet home remedies.
This was all about the various causes and treatment options for dealing with dry feet. Although this is not a very serious condition, it can lead to quite a lot of discomfort. Hence, as they say, prevention is better than cure, so be sure to practice a religious foot care regimen. A little bit of foot care goes a long way!

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