Dry skin is a very common skin problem, especially in the winter months. Many people suffer from very dry skin on their feet. The skin on our heels actually lacks the normal sweat glands that exist on the rest of our body. While this may just be a cosmetic concern for some, it is important to realize the more serious concerns that dry, cracked feet can bring.
Though anyone can have dry feet, it is more common among seniors and diabetics, which leads to one of the reasons that dry feet needs immediate attention. Chronically dry skin on the heels and feet may actually cause ulcerations. A healthy body with good blood flow has the ability to heal ulcerated skin fairly quickly. However, seniors and diabetics have a slower growth and repair of blood vessels. Therefore, chronically cracked or ulcerated heels invite bacteria, which leads to infection.
If you have occasional dry skin on your heels or any other part of your body, it is typically not a major problem and can be remedied easily with a moisturizer. However, if you are consistently finding it difficult to relieve your dry skin and it becomes extremely itchy, this may be a warning sign of dermatitis. Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin and it produces an itchy rash or patches of dry irritated skin. A dermatologist can diagnose a dermatitis skin condition and offer effective treatment options. Treating dermatitis early often provides the most successful results.
If you find that your feet are occasionally dry, try extra home moisturizing efforts at home first. Managing dry heels can include a regular moisturizing habit each day. You may find that soaking your feed in warm soapy water for 15 minutes each day is all that is needed to keep your skin at a healthy moisture level. An at-home healing mixture can benefit too. Try mixing one teaspoon of Vaseline and the juice of one lemon and rub the mixture on the dry areas of your feet. This can soothe dry skin and soften cracked heels. Lathering up on moisturizer and wearing socks to bed can be an excellent dry feet fix as well.
For those that have chronically dry skin that cannot be managed at home, seek professional help. Olansky Dermatology Associates has leading dermatologists who understand the many causes of dry skin as well as when it is a symptom of a more serious skin condition.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates
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