When Skin Turns into a Desert
Dry loaves of bread are hard, crumbly, and easy to break. Old, dry paint peels and chips away easily. Even dirt cracks when there’s not enough moisture—just look out in the desert for an example. Every living thing needs water to survive, but on top of that, moisture keeps objects flexible and functional. The same is true for your skin. Dry skin is flaky, inflexible, and prone to cracking, which can be quite uncomfortable. This is especially evident when you have dry feet.
Dry and Cracked Like Desert Dirt
Feet are naturally drier than the skin on other parts of your body. This is because they don’t contain any oil glands, which keep the rest of your skin moist. Instead, your feet have thousands of sweat glands that secrete moisture all the time to keep the top layers of your skin wet enough to be healthy. Unfortunately, however, that’s not always enough to keep your feet from drying out.
Other factors can play a role in reducing the moisture in your skin, too. Low humidity and lots of time in the sun are common culprits, especially in arid, desert areas. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, excessively hot showers or baths may sap the damp from your lower limbs. Non-moisturizing soap is another common hygiene-related source of the problem. On the other side of the temperature extreme, cold can dry out your lower limbs as well. Preexisting conditions like diabetes as well as other skin problems can damage or impair sweat glands, limiting moisture to the feet. Sometimes it’s simply your age that affects you—the older you get, the drier your skin becomes.
Walking on Dry, Itchy Skin
As anyone who suffers with dry feet knows, the drier your skin gets, the more uncomfortable it becomes. Skin without sufficient moisture loses its elasticity and smoothness. Over time, it becomes flaky and rough. This can make your feet feel itchy. You may notice redness and irritation—particularly if you scratch your feet because they itch! In some places your skin might peel. Where you have thicker or callused skin, you might develop painful cracks, which could potentially put you at risk for infections.
Restoring Moisture to Your Desert Feet
Your skin is your first line of defense against pathogens and the barrier that allows you to interact with the world around you. You want it to stay healthy, smooth, and comfortable. Fortunately, dry feet don’t have to stay dry forever. You can moisturize them. Our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will help you put together a plan to effectively moisturize your skin to restore its smoothness and health.
You’ll need to apply ointment, oils, creams, or lotions without alcohol ingredients every day—often a couple times a day. Usually it’s best to apply them after washing your feet with moisturizing soap and then put on clean socks to lock in the ointment’s effects. If it’s safe to do so, use a pumice stone to scrub off layers of dead, flaky skin and callus build-up. Drink plenty of water during the day as well. Home remedies like soaks may be beneficial, too. If you have other health issues that contribute to dry skin, you will need to have them treated to truly eliminate the condition.
Feet weren’t meant to be dry, and they certainly don’t have to stay that way. Moisturizing your skin and addressing any underlying health issues that may have contributed to the problem can help get your feet back to their soft, smooth, comfortable selves. Just contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists for more information or an appointment to take care of the skin on your lower limbs. You can use the online request form to reach us. You can also call our Las Vegas offices directly at (702) 839- 2010.