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How to treat dry skin

How can I treat dry skin?
Dry skin can be difficult to treat. Sometimes it may be peeling, scaling, rough, cracking and even develop fissures. Cracks and fissure at the heel can be quite painful and even present the risk of infection. It is important to treat these. Peeling and scaling may represent a fungal infection. Regular cremes and lotions will not be able to treat a fungal infection. If you are unsure if you have a fungal infection, or if you have open sores on the feet, be sure to visit your doctor before you start any treatment.

Cremes tend to be better for dry skin than most lotions, because lotions have more water in them. Water tends to dry out the skin more. Cremes are more expensive, but you don't need to use as much. Don't soak your feet on a regular basis, this will dry out the skin even more. Callus tissue will not respond to general dry skin cremes and lotions. A callus is a build up of dead skin in response to pressure and friction. The first step is removing the pressure and friction causing the callus to build up, then apply a creme or a gel. Exfoliating gels with enzymes and callus reducing cremes with urea are recommended for calluses and thick, hardened skin.

If the tissue on the heels is thickened or severely callused, to the point of causing cracks and fissures, first treat the cracks with triple antibiotic ointment and a bandaid. (Do not do this if you are diabetic. Diabetics should not use triple antibiotic ointment on their feet. See you physician first.) Once the cracks have started to heal, place a creme on the heel and cover with saran wrap. Do not wrap the entire foot with saran wrap. Cut a small square and place over the heel area and slide on a sock before bed. Remove the wrap in the morning. (If you are diabetic, DO NOT try this without consulting your physician.) Most cremes and lotions will absorb into the sock and not penetrate into the skin. Using the cellophane wrap will help occlude the area and increase absorption. Do not try this with exfoliating gels, or cremes with high salicylic acid or urea content.


last updated 4/22/15

Disclaimer: The advice on this website is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider. We will not be held liable for any diagnosis made or treatment recommended. Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.