The Facts on Rough, Dry, or Cracked Feet:

What Is Rough, Dry, or Cracked Feet

Feet in Sandals

In most cases, dry skin isn’t a serious condition, but it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable depending on where it is.

Some of the symptoms of dry skin, especially when it comes to dry, cracked feet, include:

  • Skin that looks and feels rough.
  • A feeling of skin tightness after bathing.
  • Scaling, peeling, or flaking (light to severe).
  • Fine lines or cracks, or deep cracks that may bleed.-
  • Itchiness and/or redness
  • Grey or ashy skin, if you have dark skin.

What Causes Rough, Dry, or Cracked Feet?

In general, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that you can control, and is usually only temporary. However, there are a few contributing factors specific to dry feet and cracked heels:

  • Wearing open-back shoes.
  • Wearing shoes that cause a lot of friction on your heels.
  • Being overweight.

Rough, Dry, or Cracked Feet Relief and Prevention

Dry skin on your feet, or anywhere else, can be treated in a few simple ways:

  • Moisturize: Moisturizers create a barrier that keeps moisture from escaping from your skin. You should moisturize the affected area several times a day, especially while your skin is still moist, like after a shower. Pat yourself dry, then apply. Thicker and heavier moisturizers work best, or try oils for a longer-lasting barrier.
  • Take warm, short baths: Long baths or showers in hot water take the natural oils out of your skin, leaving you feeling dryer. Keep your bathing time to 5-10 minutes, and use warm (not hot!) water.
  • Use gentle soaps: Avoid harsh, drying soaps in favour of more gentle cleansers. Some soaps even have added oils or fats for added moisturizing. Antibacterial soaps, fragrances, and alcohol are all drying.
  • Try a humidifier: Indoor air can be hot and dry, which can make itching and flaking worse.
  • Go natural: Fibres like cotton and silk let your skin breathe and are less irritating.
  • Calm the itch: Nonprescription hydrocortisone cream (no more than 1%) can be used to reduce itching or inflammation. You can also try a cold compress.

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