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Dry, Flaking Skin on the Feet

Dry, Flaking Skin on the Feet Dry, Flaking Skin on the Feet Dry, Flaking Skin on the Feet

Overview

Dry, flaky skin on the feet is uncomfortable. Sometimes the issue is accompanied by itching and stinging. Common causes for this condition include fungi infections and psoriasis of the feet. Learning the underlying cause of dry, flaking feet will assist in choosing the appropriate treatment. You should also make changes to safeguard against future outbreaks.

Causes

Dermatophytes, a type of fungi, cases dry, flaky skin on the feet, according to MayoClinic.com. When the fungi start to grow, the skin produces more skin cells. The result is dry and flaky skin. Athlete's foot is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It can also spread by coming in contact with contaminated floors or other objects. Household pets can also pass along the infection to humans.
Psoriasis is another common cause of dry flaky feet, according to MayoClinic.com. Psoriasis is linked to an immune system problem where the T-cells are attacking healthy skin cells by mistake.

Treatments

A nonprescription cream for athlete's foot available at your local drugstore is usually affective for treating the infection. If your infection doesn't respond to topical medications, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication such as itraconazole, fluconazole or terbinafine.

Psoriasis can be treated with nonprescription corticosteroids, according to MayoClinic.com. If over-the-counter products aren't taking care of flaky foot skin, talk with your doctor. She can prescribe higher strength prescription versions of the medicine. Synthetic vitamin D lotions and topical retinoids are also used to treat psoriasis of the foot.

Considerations

For athlete's foot, it's important to keep the skin dry. After showering, dry the skin thoroughly before applying topical creams. Avoid wearing tight shoes. If you participate in strenuous activities, change your socks immediately after the activity.
If you struggle with foot psoriasis, moisturize the skin daily. Avoid hot showers, which can dry out the skin. Taking a warm oatmeal bath can soothe the feet as well.

Misconceptions

Some people think that only athletes are at risk for developing athlete's foot. However, anyone who shares space with an infected person or frequents public places without wearing shoes is a risk for this infection. Minimize your risk for developing this infection by choosing socks made of wool or cotton, which keep moisture away from the feet. Also, choose shoes that are well ventilated to avoid trapped moisture.

Warnings

If you have psoriasis of the feet, talk with your doctor. People with health conditions that affect the immune system are at higher risk for developing this condition, according to MayoClinic.com. Smoking, stress and obesity also boost the risk for psoriasis of the feet.

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