Your Total Foot Care

Dry Skin and Foot Problems

Your feet need protection from foreign elements just as much as any other part of our bodies; without them, we cannot walk or do anything else so on an average day they receive some form of treatment whether applying moisturizer after washing one’s face with a cleanser or carefully removing calluses regularly by using pedicure tools at home consistently. Read this blog post for tips to protect your feet from dry skin and foot problems!

Factors Cause Dry Skin on the Feet

Standing for too long or wearing poorly fitting shoes can cause irritation on the feet. This leads to dry, calloused, and cracked skin because of pressure being put on specific areas of the foot.

Factors that may lead to a condition called ichthyosis Vulgaris include:

  • Abnormal production/distribution of sebum (oily secretion from glands in your pores) by your sebaceous glands causes abnormal scaling
  • Overactive bacterial growth due to underlying medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or herpes infection
  • A lack of moisture causes dry, cracked, and flaking skin on the heel and sole because these areas have fewer oil glands than other parts of your body.
  • Standing for too long or wearing poorly fitting shoes can cause irritation on the feet. This leads to dry, calloused, and cracked skin because of pressure being put on specific areas of the foot.
  • The hot and humid environment created by closed shoes, such as sneakers and boots, can lead to dry skin of the feet. This causes thick or cracked areas on your foot which could be extremely painful.
  • When using soap, it is important to make sure that the skin does not remain dry. This can be done by rinsing off all of the excess product from the feet after washing them.
  • Dry skin is a common problem that can occur in older people. As we age, our bodies produce less oil, and the natural oils produced are unable to maintain moisture which causes dryness of the skin making it appear duller than younger adults with well-moisturized faces.
  • Diuretics, medications that treat congestive heart failure or hypertension by increasing the flow of urine from your body, can also cause dry skin on the feet.
  • An athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes itchiness, rashes between the toes and underneath the feet.
  • For those who suffer from eczema, dry and itchy patches of skin can develop anywhere on the body. Some common symptoms include redness with bumps or blisters that often ooze fluid when scratched.
  • Psoriasis is a condition that causes thick areas of scales on the skin. They are often found in places like the feet where there are lots of folds and creases to trap moisture inside with little airflow which makes them very susceptible to infection.
  • People who suffer from hypothyroidism may experience extremely dry patches due to their glands being unable to regulate sweat production leading to sufferers having flaking or cracking skin as well as being more prone to bacterial infections

Diabetes and foot health

Neuropathy, a condition that is caused by uncontrolled diabetes and affects the health of peripheral nerves in the feet or hands, makes it difficult to feel the moisture on one’s skin. This can result in dryness and cracks around toes which may lead to infections like plantar warts if not addressed promptly with medical attention.

People with diabetes are at risk for developing nerve damage, but there are many factors that may increase the likelihood. These include: 

  • a hard to manage blood sugar level;
  • having had diabetes for an extended period of time, especially when your levels often exceed target;
  • being overweight or obese and older than forty years old;
  • high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Checking for foot problems regularly can prevent serious medical emergencies that could require amputation.

Nasty Foot Odor

Foot odor is a common problem that can be caused by excessive perspiration and bacteria growth on the feet. Sweaty feet are a breeding ground for bacteria. There are 250,000 sweat glands on each foot that produce about 1 cup (500 ml) of perspiration daily. Combined with the bacteria that can grow on your feet, it results in offensive smelling odors and gases produced by these microbes.

The following treatments may be useful, depending on the cause of the problem:

  • Mild antiseptic solutions or soaps 
  • Avoid synthetic socks and wear shoes that allow good air circulation and let the feet breathe. Change out of wet/sweaty shoes as soon as possible to prevent fungal growth on them. Wearing cotton socks will also absorb moisture better than synthetics which are more likely to stay damp overnight thus providing ideal conditions for fungus.

Tips for Healthy Feet

  • It is important to check your feet every day for any changes in the skin, nails, or even blisters. If you can’t see all of your feet with a mirror, ask someone close by for help!
  • Make sure to wash your feet every day in warm (not hot) water. Make sure you dry off completely afterward because damp skin could lead to getting fungus or bacteria growing and resulting in the athlete’s foot. Lastly, apply lotion but not between each toe as this could cause discomfort if it gets into more sensitive areas like our genitals!
  • If you are going to wear shoes, be sure not to go barefoot. Look inside your footwear and make sure there aren’t any pebbles or other objects in them that might hurt your feet when you wear the shoes.
  • When trying on new shoes, it is recommended that you wear them for a few hours every day until they’re completely comfortable. 
  • Toenails are an important part of our feet and it’s essential to keep them healthy. To do so, trim your nails straight across with a nail file or have a podiatrist cut the nails for you if they’re too hard to reach or see.
  • If you remove corns or calluses yourself, they could burn your skin. If this happens to be the case, then please visit a foot doctor so that he can help you. 
  • To keep your blood flowing, put your feet up when you’re sitting and wiggle your toes every now and then.
  • Make sure to pick activities that are friendly for your feet like walking, riding a bike, or swimming. Ask a podiatrist what is best for you and any avoidable ones.

Ask a Podiatrist Help at Your total foot care specialist

When you have diabetes, it is extremely important to take care of your feet. Schedule a visit with our board-certified foot doctors to get your feet checked and make sure that they are in good condition. If possible, go see a podiatrist once per year (or more often depending on your diabetes) for an exam where they will check the health of your feet.

You can prevent serious complications from diabetes by paying close attention to your feet. Our experienced foot doctors are ready to help you at any of our locations including Katy, Cypress, Copperfield, Galleria, or Memorial. Please contact us today!