10 Common Causes Of Dry Skin On The Foot & Toes

Have you been suffering from dry skin on the foot and toes? Here are 10 common reasons on why you might be getting dry skin and how to cure it.

By Amanda Palmer
10 Common Causes Of Dry Skin On The Foot & Toes

Dry skin on foot and toes

Dry skin on the foot and toes look really bad. They give an impression of un-kept and un-groomed feet. With dry skin on the feet and toes, it gets increasingly difficult to wear fashionable stilettos or peep toes for fear of exposing your cracked heals. While curing the dry skin on foot and toes is quite easy, there are some of us who fail to understand why this problem even erupts when the rest of the body does not face this issue. The reasons could be nothing major and you could be getting dry skin on feet owing to rough weather conditions and lack of moisturizing but sometimes, the condition could be really bad. You might be suffering from bacterial or fungal infections or in worst cases, even athlete's foot. At such times, you need timely intervention and cure.

Smooth, well-manicured and healthy feet look good on both men and women. Cracking heels and dry skin on your feet not only look ugly but may also be itchy and painful. Dry skin removal can be done in many ways and there are plenty of home remedies for dry skin removal on the feet. Dry skin on the foot and toes, if not checked and treated in time, might lead to serious feet problems later on and might even require a visit to the podiatrist. 

Here below we have some 10 common causes of dry skin on the foot and toes. Browse through to see which of these causes could be affecting you.

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1. Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Bacteria and fungus thrive on the skin which is cut, cracking or is often moist. We spend a lot of time in our shoes all day long. The conditions inside the shoe are warm, dark and humid which are perfect for the growth of bacteria and fungus. These thrive on the skin of the toes and foot causing dry skin, redness and blisters. Your feet may get itchy and even start peeling. If not treated at the right time, the infection might spread uncontrollably. One must also remember that many times, this bacteria and fungus becomes dormant but does not completely leave your feet premises. When the conditions become favorable again, they might recur. It is therefore necessary to ensure that you treat your feet properly. You need to keep the area between your toes clean and dry. Make it a point to change your socks often to ensure proper hygiene and also keep your feet dry. You can use dusting powders to keep your feet dry. Such feet conditions should be able to cure in a span of two weeks. If it takes more time, you might need to visit a doctor. 

2. Lack of Hydration

Lack of proper hydration also leads to dry skin. This does not mean that you keep your feet wet but it means that you keep your body hydrated from within. Dry skin leads to itchy feet. You need to use a mild soap to thoroughly clean your feet without stripping off the natural oils. One must also apply a moisturizing cream on a regular basis. Moisturizers form a protective layer on the skin of the feet preventing the moisture to evaporate. Make sure you drink atleast 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and also eat a balanced diet with loads of fruits and vegetables.

3. Corns and Calluses

Dry skin on the foot and toes when not tended to at the right time may lead to corns and calluses. These also occur when parts of your sole are constantly exposed to friction and pressure. This friction and pressure occurs when the bony parts of the feet constantly rub against the shoes. Corns or calluses are nothing but a patch of really hard skin on the feet which may develop cuts and be quite painful. For corns and calluses, the doctor often prescribes soft soled shoes with pads to reduce the impact of friction. Never try to treat corns or calluses on your own as you might end up with an exaggerated problem. Diabetic patients or patients with poor circulation have a greater fear of treating corns and calluses themselves and should always consult a doctor. 

4. Athlete's Foot also causes dry skin on foot and toes

If the cause of your dry skin on foot is athlete's foot then you might require immediate medical attention. The difference between dry skin on the foot due to some other reason or due to athlete's foot might be tough to decipher because the symptoms are generally similar. Athlete's foot is also known as tinea pedis and it can occur in several forms. It is basically a fungal infection of the foot. The skin appears reddened and peeling with blisters and cracking heels. Sometimes, athlete's foot appears only on the soles in a dry-looking skin that is flaky and peeling. Sometimes, the condition may be itchy and sometimes, it may not be itchy. 

At times, the cure for dry skin might lead to creating ideal conditions for the fungus to thrive. Intense moisturizing- treatment for dry skin causes the athlete's foot to flourish. At times, over the counter medicines can be given to help in treating athlete’s foot but in case of cracking heels and blisters, the person may require a doctor's treatment.

Some people often tend to fail in applying their medicines consistently. This might lead to the infection not curing at all. One is required to continue using the prescribed medications long after the visible symptoms have gone. Continuing to use the medicines for up to four weeks ensures complete eradication of the infection. 

One may worsen the athlete's foot condition thinking that it is excessive dry skin by undergoing an intense moisturizing regimen. You might be only providing favorable conditions for the fungus to flourish, worsening the infection. If you feel your dry feet condition has suddenly cropped up and does not heal within a week of moisturizing, then you must consult a podiatrist.

5. Skin Buildup

Sometimes, skin buildup is the only cause making your feet appear dry. Skin naturally sheds but on the feet, this dead skin tends to build up because one generally does not tend to clean the feet on a regular basis. Feet are the most neglected part of the human body. This dead skin accumulated on the feet appears flaky, dry and shredded. One can udergo skin buildup removal at home easily by using a foot peeler or scrubber for the dry skin removal. One can even get a pedicure done by a professional for the dry skin removal. 


6. Extreme weather conditions cause dry skin on foot and toes

Extreme climatic conditions such as cold weather may cause skin on the feet to appear dry and flaky. In dry weather conditions, the skin loses moisture and is devoid of proper hydration making the skin appear dry. To protect the skin on the foot from dry weather, one must apply a good moisturizer and cover the feet with socks. Stay indoors as much as possible and also make sure to keep your feet dry. 

7. Sunburn

Sunburn also leads to flaky and peeling skin. Exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun causes the outer layer of the skin to get damaged, reddened and start peeling. 

8. Reactive arthritis

Another less known cause for dry skin on foot is reactive arthritis or Reiter's syndrome. This condition occurs when the body is already battling a severe infection and the medications go wrong. This leads to joint and urinary tract inflammation. The skin also becomes inflamed and starts to peel. The main areas where the skin starts to peel first is the skin of the palms and the feet. 


9. Dermatitis and allergies

Dermatitis or skin allergies such as eczema, dandruff and rashes also cause dry and peeling skin on the feet. Sometimes, peeling of the skin arises due allergic reactions from certain detergents, food or even medications. After you have diagnosed the reason and cause for the dry skin on the foot and toes, you need to ascertain an easy home remedy treatment that works the best for you. 

10. Lack of Moisturizing

Hectic lifestyles and busy routines may cause us to neglect our feet and not moisturize them regularly. Dry skin on the feet and toes become more prominent as we age as the skin loses moisture and ages as well along with us. The ability of the skin to regenerate and form newer cells slows down as we age and this leads to more and more dry skin. 

Treat #calluses and #corns on your #feet👣

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When to see a Podiatrist

You might need to see a podiatrist when you develop athlete's foot, reactive arthritis or even severely cracked heels. If not treated in time, it may lead to bedsores or ulcers or greater infections. Diabetic patients with cracked heels should see a podiatrist immediately. Even patients with impaired circulation or autoimmune disorders may suffer from such skin conditions. Generally, dry skin on the feet and toes are curable with easy home remedies. If you see your feet not healing even after applying the home remedies for more than a week, you might need to consult a podiatrist. 

Vaseline or petroleum jelly is often considered the best home remedy for dry skin on feet and toes. One needs to moisturize one's feet with vaseline before sleeping at night and wear socks in order to retain the moisture. This remedy generally heals dry skin in most cases. Other remedies include foot creams, moisturizers, regular scrubbing, pedicure and oil massage. 

Do not neglect the dry skin on your feet and toes. Make sure all the parts of your body are in good condition. Areas like elbows, knees, feet, skin in between your toes and the area behind your ears are often neglected. Bacteria and fungal infections thrive in areas which are not cleaned and are often moist. Caring for feet is quite simple. Follow a healthy and consistent moisturizing regimen daily to avoid dry skin on foot and toes.