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Anhidrosis – What Is It And What should I do about it?


Winter is finally over!! Bring on the warmer weather. Unfortunately for a lot of us, with the warmer months our skin suffers and becomes dryer. This blog talks about the cause of dry skin and what to use to help prevent it.

Anhidrosis is the term used to describe dry feet. Some people suffer from unusually dry skin that leaves the skin, flaky, peeling and thin. Some parts of the foot may thicken and crack. The heels are particularly prone to cracking which leads to fissures. These can be deep and bleed when they split.

Not all thick skin on the heels is dry skin, so in order to distinguish dry skin from callus you can observe the texture of the skin on other parts of the foot like the arch. Anhidrosis (dry skin) is dry on top of the foot as well, and may appear up the legs and on the hands.

Calluses however are sites of pressure and shearing due to footwear or biomechanical problems. However at times they do exist in combination.

Applying emollients or moisturising creams to the foot, may make a difference if done on a regular basis, and certainly some creams are more effective than others. Those that do not appear to respond to creams may have an underlying fungal infection that appears as dry skin. These will require a different approach to treatment. Other causes for dryness may be due to diabetes, poor circulation and nutritional deficiency.

Emollients that have urea in them, are more effective in assisting the cells in moisture retention. Urea is a keratolytic which is used to soften keratin, a major component of the skin. This serves to improve the skin’s moisture binding capacity, which is beneficial in the treatment of dry skin.

Creams with urea in it are indicated to help manage the following conditions.

  • Dry skin and rough skinanhidrosis2
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Ichthyosis
  • Eczema
  • Keratoderma
  • Corns
  • Calluses

If you suffer from anhidrosis ask your podiatrist which product is best for you to use!

Thank you for reading, KimberlyIMG_1544

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Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491