Everyone at some point in their life has suffered from dry skin on their feet. Dry feet are a natural reaction of the body to signal to you that dehydration is present either in the lack of sufficient water consumption or the absence of a proper moisturizing feet routine.
The truth is, with demanding responsibilities either from work or home, we barely find the time to commit to taking care of ourselves, and moisturizing your feet daily becomes a task that is often bypassed as not as necessary.
For some persons, it's a matter of hereditary. Thus, the skin on their feet is predisposed to becoming dry easier. However, moisturized skin is not impossible for these persons, but it will take more effort and consistency.
Dry feet can be embarrassing, but there are many ways to alleviate them. In this post, we will take the time to understand dry skin on feet, reasons for dry feet, how to get rid of it, and how to maintain healthy moisturized feet.
What is Dry Skin?
Dry skin on the feet depicts a lack of the adequate amount of water that should be present in the epidermis. Thus, the skin lacks sufficient moisture to keep it silky, hydrated, and smooth to touch. Dry feet are characterized by flakes, scales, redness, itchiness, cracked, rough texture, or look.
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Furthermore, dry feet can lead to cracking or bleeding. No one is immune to the reality of dry feet because it can happen at any age. Older people tend to be more prone to developing dehydrated skin on feet because of the lessened amount of natural skin oils and lubricants in the skin.
Reasons for Dry Skin on Feet
Studies show that there’s no real cause behind dry skin. It is common for individuals to experience dry skin when the climate becomes dry. The other reasons connected to dry skin include:
- Health Issues
- Genetics (Ichthyosis Vulgaris)
- Some medications
- Shoe material
- Aged Skin
- Climatic conditions (dry climates or during winter)
Why is Skin Dryness on Feet Prevalent in the Winter?
The common 'Winter Itch" doesn't cause dry feet but rather aggravates skin types that already have a nature of being dehydrated.
The external factors in winter, such as low humidity, the use of a heater throughout the home, and cold temperatures, tend to aggravate dry skin within the winter months.
Dry Skin on Feet Complications
There are various types of dry feet ailments that happen due to a lack of urgency to moisturize dry skin. When feet become extremely dry, they can quickly become cracked, flaky, and start to peel. The skin on your feet can also get inflamed and shows signs of rashes with itchiness.
Dry skin on neglected feet can also develop into hard calluses, rough surface patches on the skin. They often appear on the heel or ball of the foot and can be very difficult to get rid of them.
Skin Types, Skin Colors, and Dry Skin on Feet
Interesting to note that most skin types, whether normal, combination or sensitive skin, tend to be plagued with the possibility of feet dryness at one point or another.
However, people with oily skin report fewer cases of dry skin on their feet than the other skin types. Skin dryness on feet is easily visible in every skin color because of its white, scaly, and crust-like features. Regardless of ethnic origin, feet dryness is a reality both men and women face.
How to Get Rid of Dry Skin on Feet?
Improving and alleviating dry skin on the feet is a process that is characterized by a variety of methods. Some of the best practices to rid your feet of dryness includes:
Being deliberate about moisturizing
Moisturizing your feet is a crucial way to ensure the skin doesn't suffer from dryness. By incorporating moisturizers into your daily skincare regimen, it acts as a sealant for the skin on your feet, preventing the water within your skin from escaping.
Select creams, butter, moisturizer-infused lotions (raw Shea Butter and whipped body buttercreams, organic moisturizers) as they tend to boost the ability of your feet to absorb moisture and stay moisturized for longer.
It's essential to moisturize your feet throughout the course of the day instead of after showers only. This will help to minimize the moisture lost from your feet that leads to dryness.
It is pertinent that natural oils are included in your daily feet moisturizing regimen for individuals suffering from dry feet. Natural oils best penetrate the skin immediately after a shower and effectively prevent the water from vanishing from the surface of the skin.
Use scrubs, foot soaks, and pumice stones
With the use of foot scrubs, you can effectively exfoliate your feet and get rid of the dead skin surface.
Foot soaks in warm water are also another great way to bring moisture to dry feet by loosening and soothing them. This helps to improve blood circulation, which helps to prevent future dry feet issues. Foot scrubs and dissolvable foot salt baths help when placed in the foot soak.
The use of pumice stones or foot files helps to remove dry skin and calluses formed on the feet. Foot scrubs with the pumice stone or foot file can be done after the foot soak.
It's important to wet the pumice stone/foot file with the warm water from the foot soak and gently scrub away the dead skin. Repeat in a motion to smooth skin, then dry them and use a combination of natural oils with butter or cream to moisturize the feet.
Select gentle and natural fragranced skincare products
Products that tend to have high fragrances irritate the feet and can cause dryness. Be wary of laundry detergents too that are laden with high fragrance and abrasive ingredients that can also cause skin irritation, leading to skin dryness on feet.
Choose laundry detergents that are lightly fragranced and are hypoallergenic to ensure the best care for your feet.
Include warm water in your baths
Bathing with warm baths instead of hot baths will help to boost how well your moisturizer is absorbed within your feet. Hot baths tend to dry out the feet, while warm baths place the skin on your feet at a place where it is not dry but prepares them to absorb moisture better.
Remove the use of soap with harsh ingredients
Many soaps tend to have a drying effect on the skin because of the harsh soap-like features that strip the skin of its natural oils and expose it to drying. Great selections include soap-free shower gels and skin cleansers with natural added oils, fats, and emulsifiers that boost moisture in the skin.
Other harsh ingredients to avoid include alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and retinoids. Choosing healthier soap-free cleansers is best for sensitive skin and dry skin.
Choose your footwear wisely
Choose footwear that is not tight. Ensure they provide enough breathing space for your feet. Don't wear your shoes while your feet are wet; this doesn't promote good feet hygiene. Also, standing for long periods tend to affect the feet and cause itchiness and dryness.
The consumption of at least 6-8 glasses of water daily is ideal for boosting moisture retention in your skin and helping to prevent skin dryness on your feet. Keep the air of your home moisture-friendly with a humidifier.
Interestingly, the use of an in-house humidifier can improve the moisture level in your home. Eating fruits and vegetables also help to hydrate you and keep your skin moisturized naturally.
No one is immune to dry feet, regardless of skin type or ethnic origin. Skin dryness on feet can be mild and quickly clear up on its own. However, consistent dry skin on feet that shows signs of cracks, dry patches, redness, scales, and is severely itchy should not be ignored and left to heal on its own.
Feet dryness needs immediate attention, and many methods can be employed to remedy it. Creating a moisture routine for your feet effectively relieves dry skin symptoms and boosts deep moisture.
Moisturizing at least 3-4 times a day is crucial to getting rid of dry feet. Moisturizing your feet should never be limited to only after baths, though drying your feet and moisturizing after each bath is helpful to improve moisture retention.
Other helpful ways to retain feet moisture are by guarding against harsh ingredients like alcohol, artificial fragrances, drying bath soaps, excessive hot baths that strip the feet of its natural oils, and laundry detergents with perfumes and other abrasive chemicals.
Caring for your feet with natural oils and enriched moisturizing emollients in body butter and creams prove to be one of the top ways to rid the skin on feet of dryness.