Dry Skin on Feet – Causes, Prevention & Relief
Dry, hard or cracked feet are a common issue for many people; for some it’s purely an aesthetic problem, while for others it can be a source of real discomfort.
Our feet bear the weight of our entire bodies every single day, so it’s important that we take proper care of them.
There are a range of factors that contribute to the development of dry feet, but in most cases you can improve them at home without needing to pay a visit to your GP. Here we look at some of the causes, and what you can do to find relief.
Let’s face it—smooth, healthy feet both look and feel good.
Causes of Dry Feet
There are several potential reasons the skin on the feet can become dry, hard or cracked. The most common cause is a lack of moisture.
The skin on the plantar, or bottom of the feet, is particularly susceptible to becoming dry because of its reliance on sweat secretions to remain hydrated. Low humidity in the air, friction, exposure to sunlight, the overuse of soaps, and conversely a lack of hygiene, can all exacerbate the problem. Other factors including genetics, age and nutrition can also play a role.
How to Prevent Dry Feet
Though some of the risk factors cannot be eliminated, like genetics or age, there are a number of things you can do to address dry feet before it becomes a real problem.
Firstly, ensure you moisturise regularly—apply O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet foot moisturiser in the morning before you put on your socks and shoes in order to seal in hydration. Speaking of shoes—make sure your footwear fits properly to avoid added pressure or friction.
Proper foot hygiene is also essential, however it’s important to select a gentle moisturising soap that is free from harsh additives that can further dry the skin on your feet. Also keep in mind that prolonged exposure to water can also be drying, particularly if the water is very hot.
Nutrition can sometimes play a role too, so ensuring you are eating a diet rich in the essential vitamins and minerals – such as vitamin A and zinc – could also be helpful.
How to Relieve Dry Feet
Despite the unsightly appearance and discomfort of dry, cracked feet; the good news is that in most cases they can be treated successfully at home.
Start by gently exfoliating away hard, thick skin and follow with a thick moisturising cream. Look for creams that contain a high concentration of Glycerin to help draw in and retain moisture. Equally, moisturising creams that contain Allantoin are particularly effective at softening and moistening the thicker skin of the foot. In many cases, the use of a good foot cream can significantly improve the condition in just a few days.