Hard Dry Skin on the Feet
Dry, hard skin on the feet is a common problem for many people. If you spend most of your day on your feet, you're particularly susceptible to this annoying, often painful problem. Luckily, most cases of dry, hard skin on the feet can be treated using home remedies and specific lifestyle changes.
Hard, dry skin on the feet is usually a result of any type of activity or overuse of the feet that causes persistent rubbing or friction, according to BBC Health. Standing for extended periods of time, uneven weight distribution or improper shoes can also be a potential cause of dry, hard skin on the feet. Dry, hard skin usually shows up most frequently on the heels, balls of the feet and sides of the toes.
According to BBC Health, dry, hard skin on the feet usually manifests as calluses, although other conditions such as plantar warts and athlete's foot can also cause this problem. Calluses are thick, hard and dry areas of the feet that can become cracked or painful over time and can potentially develop into corns.
According to author Gary Null in his book, "Get Healthy Now!: A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment And Healthy Living," avoiding the use of soap on your feet can help to prevent dry, hard skin, as many commercially-prepared soaps contain drying ingredients. Making sure that your shoes fit properly and taking occasional sitting breaks if you must be on your feet all day can also help to prevent dry, hard skin on the feet.
According to author Null, giving your feet an oil rub after bathing using soy, sunflower or safflower oil can help to treat dry, hard foot skin. BBC Health recommends using a pumice stone or an emery board to help remove calluses and dry skin. If you suffer from corns, medicated corn plasters containing salicylic acid may be helpful. Moisturizing is a critical component of treating dry, hard feet, although in extreme cases, prescription creams or similar treatments may be necessary.
A visit to the podiatrist may be necessary if home remedies and lifestyle changes don't help to alleviate dry, hard skin on the feet. According to DermNet NZ, certain creams containing prescription strength levels of urea or lactic acid may help. A podiatrist may also perform debridement, a procedure where dry, hard skin is cut away.
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