Why Do My Feet Get So Dry? Your feet, especially the sole tend to dry up and crack faster, and more frequently compared to other body areas. Sebaceous glands that produce sebum (an oily substance) for keeping the skin hydrated and supple are present throughout the body. However sebaceous glands are not present on the palms, dorsum, and sole of your foot.
No wonder the skin on your feet is unable to retain moisture and becomes dehydrated thereby making your feet dry. Additionally, the feet support the entire weight of your body all through the day and night, causing the formation of calluses. Dry skin and cracks are more prominent in between the toes, the edges of the feet, and on the heels.
The dry areas on your feet’s skin could feel sore, painful, prickly, and taut which can be discomfiting but not harmful. You can resort to different home remedies and therapeutic methods to get relief from xerosis or dry skin.
What Causes Dry Feet?
A host of common factors and medical issues are responsible for dehydrating your feet. Let us take a quick look at the everyday factors that cause the dermal layer on your feet to become dry:-
- Hot and Humid Weather-Wearing tight-fitting shoes, boots, and sneakers in hot and humid weather can dry up the feet. Though your feet lack sebaceous glands, they’re replete with sweat glands that perspire heavily in sultry weather. The enclosed and sweaty environment inside your footwear sucks out moisture from your feet, making them itch and stink, eventually causing the skin to crack.
- Chilly Weather-The chilly weather during the winter season is primarily responsible for causing dehydration of your feet’s skin. The cold weather not only sucks up moisture but also causes the skin to become parched, leading to its rupture.
- Damage Caused by UV Rays-The top part of your feet, like other areas of your body remains exposed to the sun’s damaging UV rays when you step out.
- Ageing-As you grow older, your skin tends to lose its suppleness, and its capacity to retain moisture diminishes. Therefore aged people are at greater risk of experiencing dry and cracked skin.
- Absence of Oil Glands-Since your feet have hardly any oil glands, the skin on the sole and heel areas becomes dry and flaky.
- Constant Stress on the Feet’s Particular Areas-If your job requires you to be on your feet for long hours, then particular areas of your feet are subjected to stress. This could cause the base of the toes, heel, ball, and arch of the feet to become callused, dehydrated, and cracked.
- Medicines-Certain medicines like statins, antihistamines, and diuretics can make the skin on your feet dry.
- Body Washes, Shower Gels, and Soaps-Many soaps, shower gels, and body washes containing corrosive chemicals can draw out moisture from your skin.
- Diabetes-Diabetic people usually suffer from neuropathy, a medical condition that damages the peripheral nerves. Neuropathy in turn adversely affects the functioning of the nerves controlling moisture and oil secretion in your feet, causing dryness.
Certain skin conditions affecting the feet such as psoriasis, eczema, and athlete’s foot can cause your feet to become dry.
Preventive Measures (Why Do My Feet Get So Dry)
Contrary to what you think, you can surely take specific steps to prevent the skin on your feet from drying. Follow the tips and guidelines outlined below for keeping your feet’s skin hydrated at all times:-
- Eat healthily and follow a skincare routine recommended by a dermatologist
- Avoid smoking completely
- Thoroughly cleanse both your feet in lukewarm water, using a mild and a loofah for scrubbing feet gently
- Drink enough water throughout the day to keep your skin well hydrated
- Exercise regularly and stick to a balanced diet for boosting and maintaining blood circulation
- Take an Epsom salt bath once in a while for soothing your feet and maintain their natural texture and suppleness
- Ensure to shower in lukewarm water rather than hot water, and use a soft towel to wipe off your body
Home Remedies and Treatment Methods
You should always see to it that you get rid of dead cells from the skin surface or else they’ll accumulate forming thick, scaly patches. In due course, these blistering patches tend to crack after drying up, making your feet prone to infection. On the other hand, the thick, dry patches tend to harden up forming calluses, and making it painful to walk.
Related: How to Wrap Foot for Top of Foot Pain?
You can try the following home remedies and treatments for doing away with dead skin cells and keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized.
1. Soaking Feet in Lukewarm Water
Immerse your feet in lukewarm water containing Epsom salt, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, or oatmeal for relaxing and soothing dry skin. Soaking feet in tepid water also boosts the circulation of blood to your feet, thereby helping check the dryness of feet. These ingredients abound in antimicrobial agents helping sanitize your feet and keeping them odor free.
Exfoliation entails clearing away dead skin cells with a pumice stone soon after taking a shower and wiping your skin using a soft towel. Make sure you keep the pumice stone immersed in lukewarm water before you can use it. Gently rub the pumice stone throughout the underneath of your feet and the edges for 4-5 minutes, and thereafter wash your feet.
Following exfoliation, see to it that you use a quality moisturizing ointment for hydrating the skin and keeping it supple.
3. Putting on Moisturizing Socks at Night
Wearing moisturizing socks before going to bed can provide additional hydration to your feet’s skin. For best results, daub a good quality moisturizer all over your feet, and then put on a pair of lightweight and breathable socks.
4. Keeping Feet Moisturized
Besides exfoliation, you can use moisturizing lotions, creams, and salves for maintaining the health and elasticity of your feet’s skin. However steer clear of creams and lotions containing ethyl alcohol, artificial colors, and fragrances that could make the skin drier and coarser. Instead use creams and unguents containing emollients, and humectants like aloe, coconut oil, lanolin, and petrolatum.
Use ProPlantar™ Night Splint Sock for Dry Feet
The ProPlantar™ Night Splint Sock, crafted from lightweight, breathable, and super soft materials, helps improve blood circulation to your feet. The anti-chafing quality of this night splint sock made from neoprene and spandex fabrics minimizes discomfort and itchiness.