Dry Skin Foot Cream
For most people, dry skin on the feet is an inconvenience easily remedied by the use of an effective foot cream. Severe dry skin, the kind that results in cracked heels or rashes, may indicate a medical condition and require a dermatologist's help. If you are a diabetic, foot care is especially important and should be discussed with your physician.
Most creams treat dry skin by creating a barrier that prevents the evaporation of moisture from the skin. Northwestern Health Sciences University recommends choosing a moisturizer with a high oil content. The greater the amount of oil in a cream, the more moisture that cream will help your skin retain.
According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, creams are a more popular choice than ointments to treat dry skin because they are fully absorbed by the skin and do not leave an oily or greasy residue. Some commonly available brands recommended by the University of Iowa include Eucerin®, Cetaphil®, Nutraderm® and Nivea®. Use caution to prevent slipping when applying any cream to the feet.
Some foot creams contain chemicals such as lactic acid that help the skin shed dry outer layers to reveal healthier skin underneath through a process called exfoliation. These products are often prescribed when the skin on the feet is dry and scaly. If you are prescribed this type of foot cream, Drugs.com cautions against using the cream on your face or applying it to broken skin. You should also avoid sun exposure and follow your doctor's instructions carefully when using this type of product.
If you have diabetes, your feet require special care. Foot cream can help relieve the discomfort of dry skin and keep your skin healthy and pliable. After washing your feet with a mild soap, dry your feet carefully, especially between the toes. Apply foot cream only to the tops and bottoms of your feet, and not between the toes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that applying foot cream between the toes can create a moist environment that can lead to the growth of bacteria and an infection. If you have diabetes, ask your podiatrist or physician to recommend a foot cream that is right for you.
If your dry skin does not respond to an over-the-counter foot cream, talk to your doctor. You may need a stronger, prescription product, or you could have an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. Psoriasis and dermatitis, for example, can cause dry skin on the feet and lead to cracked heels.
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