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Why Do I Have Dry Skin and What Can I Do About it?

Winter is a time when temperature drops and the humidity level lower. One of the most common condition podiatrists see daily in winter is dry skin which flakes and causes discomfort. Today blog we’ll discuss the main causes of dry skin and solutions which help to ease the problem.

Main causes of dry skin

  • Autonomic peripheral neuropathy such as diabetes mellitus type I or type II
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Damage/scarring to areas of skin
  • Poor blood supply in the elderly
  • Excessive scrubbing and bathing

Solutions to ease the problem

  • If dry skin is a result from poor blood supply or autonomic peripheral neuropathy, the main solution would be to apply emollients regularly, prefers after shower. The choices of emollients are also an important factor. The best moisturiser would has urea based or lanolin as an active ingredient. Examples of creams in the market include: Scholl Eulactol Foot Heel Gold; Dermal therapy.
  • An important note to make, a lot of patients have asked lately should they be using Exfoliation pack for their dry skin. I usually don’t recommend these exfoliation pack especially for patients with heel cracks, patients with diabetes, eczema or psoriasis. The reason for this is most exfoliation products contain Salicylic acid which can be quite strong and erosive. You can end up with very red raw skin which can lead to further heel cracks and worsen the problem.
  • The best solution for cracked heels would be to visit your podiatrist to carefully reduce callus at the edges follow by antiseptic solution and dressing. In patients with poor blood supply or patients with diabetes, this is very important as any open skin can take longer to heal. If the upper layer of skin doesn’t heal properly, ulceration can occur which can follow with complications such as infections.
  • Patients who have psoriasis and eczema should also regularly moisturise their feet as well as visit dermatologist for topical corticosteroid cream.
  • Excessive rubbing and bathing can also cause dry cracked skin. The skin can becomes degreased by washing chapped (dry and cracked) by the cold. Topical steroids diluted in white soft paraffin reduce itching heal the skin.

Thanks for reading


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Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491