Dry skin is a skin that lacks moisture, making the skin dry and uncomfortable. A dry skin is an unhealthy skin, this is because it loses its protective barrier, which making the skin susceptible to both fungal and bacterial infections.
What is dry skin?
Dry skin on the foot is a very common complaint that affects both women and men of all ages. Dry skin is skin that lacks moisture, which causes the skin to peel and crack as it becomes less supple.
What causes dry skin?
The skin is made up of two layers:
- The dermis
- The epidermis
The outer layer of skin is called the epidermis, which itself is made up of layers. The layers that make up the epidermis include:
- Stratum germinativum
- Stratum spinosum
- Stratum granulosum
- Stratum lucidium (only present on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet)
- Stratum corneum
When a person has dry skin it is the outer layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) that is dehydrated. When the skin is dehydrated it loses elasticity and flexibility, which makes the skin less supple and leads to cracks and splits. The reason why the skin on the bottom of the foot is prone to dryness is because it does not contain any oil glands. Oil glands help to keep the skin moisturised by producing sebum which provides a film that prevents water from evaporating from the skin below.
The skin may become dry due to a number of external and internal factors, for example:
- The weather
- Detergents and soaps
- Too frequent washing
- Skin disorder (e.g. eczema)
- Certain medications
- Certain medical conditions (e.g. a thyroid problem)
- Athlete's foot
What are the signs and symptoms of dry skin?
A dry skin will appear and feel rough and is typically yellow or white in colour, it may also:
How is dry skin diagnosed?
Dry skin itself can typically be diagnosed quite easily based on physical appearance. Some dry skin conditions however may require further investigation and you may be referred to a dermatologist (a doctor who specialises in the skin).
Benefits of podiatry for dry skin
At Chiropody.co.uk the following benefits are achieved following podiatric treatment and intervention:
- Immediate improvement in skin condition
- Immediate improvement in appearance of the skin
- Improvement in comfort
- Cracks and fissures are greatly reduced
- Reduced risk of infection (bacterial and fungal)
What would podiatry for dry skin involve?
Our podiatrists at Chiropody.co.uk understand the importance of a well moisturised and hydrated skin, particularly when it comes to foot health. Our podiatrists are highly trained to understand the mechanics of the skin, making them best placed to treat and advise you on the best way to treat and hydrate the dry skin affecting your feet. Everyone is different, and because of this the treatment option most suitable for you and your dry skin will be specific to you.
Treatment for dry skin may include:
- Dry skin treatment
- Athletes foot treatment
- Cracked heels treatment
- Fungal infection treatment
- Footwear review
- Advice and education
- Paraffin wax treatment
- Emollient therapy
- Modification of shower and bath products
- Specialised wet dressings
- Specialised socks
- Heel sleeves
Dry skin is a very common complaint that can affect anyone at any time, although certain factors can increase your risk as well as certain medical conditions. Dry skin is skin that lacks moisture, this makes the skin less flexible and supply, which causes the skin to become rough and crack. When the skin cracks it is then susceptible to infection. A dry skin is therefore an unhealthy skin.
If you have dry skin affecting your feet then podiatry can help you. In most cases our podiatrists can remove the dry skin and provide moisturisation in the first appointment, they will also provide you with information on how to maintain the condition of your skin.
To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 4222.
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