What Causes Dry Feet?

On average, our feet take about 5,000 steps (2.5 miles) every day. They also bear the weight of our bodies. Yet we tend to forget about the fact that they need some love and care. This leads to a number of foot problems and dry feet are among the most common ones. There are a number of causes why the skin on our feet tends to be drier than the rest of our body. Dry skin on feet can lead to calluses, corns, foot ulcers, and cracks all of which can be very uncomfortable and even painful. 

Let’s explore some of the causes of dry feet: 

  • The skin on the bottom of our feet is as thick as a nickel. This means that it is harder for our feet to stay moisturized and it’s also harder for foot products to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. 
  • Our feet do not have hair which means they don’t have oil glands (oil glands are found in hair follicles) to keep the skin moisturized. 
  • As we age, the cell regeneration in our skin slows down which can lead to more dryness. Our skin loses some of its elasticity as we age and we also start to lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of our feet all of which can lead to dryness. 
  • Dead skin can build up if your feet are constantly in socks and shoes due to lack of moisture. 
  • Poor hygiene and foot care regimen are generally the leading cause of dry feet. 
  • Cold and dry weather. Our skin absorbs moisture from the air. When the weather is cold and dry, there is less moisture in the air to be absorbed by the skin. Also, we tend to keep our feet in socks and shoes in cold weather which makes it harder for the skin to absorb moisture. 
  • Sandals, open shoes, and walking barefoot expose our feet to dust and environmental toxins that can dry out the skin. 
  • Harsh soaps, detergents, and some foot products can damage the natural skin barrier which leads to water loss from the skin. 
  •  Poor nutrition and lack of vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals that are needed for healthy skin: 
  1. Vitamin A – plays a key role in cell regeneration
  2. Vitamin C & E – keeps the free radicals from destroying the structural support of elastin and collagen in your skin
  3. Omega 3 – assists with blood circulation, healing wounds and cracks, and reduce inflammation
  4. Zinc – helps with the growth of skin cells and the healing of cracks 
  • Disorders such as diabetes, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, thyroid disease, and other skin conditions are a few causes of dry feet. 
  • Poor-fitting shoes can put constant pressure on the feet which can lead to skin hardening and dryness. 
  • Pressure from standing on our feet for prolonged amounts of time or regularly walking long distances especially if we’re not used to it can cause friction of the skin which can lead to dryness, corns, and calluses. 

While it is important to know the causes of our foot problems, the good news is that with just a little TLC, we can avoid most of these problems. For a list of remedies for dry feet and effective Foot Care products, visit our Ultimate Guide to Baby-Smooth Feet

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