Lifestyle & Health : Why does she have scaly feet?

January 31, 2017

Seana is a 34-year-old physically active business woman who has noticed recently that her feet are itchy and scaly.

She has never had a skin problem before in her life, and now, the bottom of her feet itch and burn her throughout the day.

The skin over her feet also feels abnormally dry. She asks Check Up for advice regarding skin care to restore the skin over her feet.

Mostly, scaly itchy feet are not a cause for worry, but sometimes medical help is needed! Our feet naturally exfoliate and slough off dead skin cells, and sometimes dead skin can build up on the feet and start to flake off.

Perhaps a good pedicure is all that is needed if one hasn't had a pedicure for a while. Remember to moisturise feet and toes as dry skin present on the feet can begin to flake off.

Use an oil or cream on the feet several times daily to prevent overdryness, but avoid applying creams or lotions that contain alcohol, which can further dry out the skin.

Symptoms of dry feet include:

• Itchiness

• Redness

• Cracks in the feet

• Rough skin

• Flaky and pealing skin

Causes of dry feet include:

• Hot showers or baths

• Harsh soaps

• Eczema

• Psoriasis

• Thyroid disease

• Aging

Fungal infection of the feet can also cause dryness and scaling and even foot odour. In this situation, treatment with topical and/or oral anti-fungal medications is necessary.

Eczema can also cause dryness, itching, and peeling of the soles of the feet. A doctor will need to diagnose this, and treatment is usually with steroidal creams.

Treating dry, scaly feet will have to begin with determining the cause of the foot condition, but do not scratch the affected area. Instead, apply cold compresses.

Moisturise after each time the feet become wet and wear open, light shoes when possible. Caffeine and alcohol can worsen the itchy feeling and are to be avoided!

If scaling and itching persist, then visit a doctor to have a proper diagnosis made.

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