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Poor foot care can lead to infections or other conditions, such as athlete’s foot. Dry feet can cause pain and discomfort, especially if the skin develops deep cracks. Treating your feet with proper skincare techniques can help restore moisture and heal cracks.
Dry feet can be caused by dry weather, prolonged exposure to water or you may have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes. Dry climates can zap the moisture right out of your skin, including your feet. If your feet are constantly exposed to water, this can also cause your skin to lose moisture.
When showering or bathing, keep the water at a lukewarm temperature. Hot or extremely hot water can cause your skin to lose moisture, according to the National Diabetes Education Program. Right after bathing, dry your feet thoroughly and apply a moisturizer. The moisturizer should thinly coat your feet; you only need a small amount. Cover your feet with socks after applying the moisturizer to prevent the moisturizer from smearing onto carpets or bed sheets. Wear socks daily. Wearing socks will prevent your shoes from rubbing your skin raw and becoming dry.
Do not apply too much or very thick coats of moisturizer on your feet. This may cause excess moisture, which could lead to fungal infections of the skin and toe nails. Fungal infections, if scratched, can spread to other areas of your body when the infection becomes trapped under your fingernails and is transferred to another patch of skin. Do not use a pumice stone on your feet. Rubbing too hard in attempts to remove excess dry skin can cause you to cut your foot, which could also lead to infection.
The American Diabetes Association you use plain petroleum for dry feet, as well as regular skin lotion. Lanolin cream also works well.The National Diabetes Education Program advises against using scented lotions or similar products that could cause an allergic reaction or aggravate your skin.
If you practice proper foot care and still experience dry feet, schedule an appointment with your health care provider to rule out additional causes. Your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength medication to cure dry skin or he may recommend a specific daily regimen that can help heal your dry skin.