Dry Skin Problems

Dry Skin (Anhidrosis)

Skin on the soles of the feet relies on perspiration to prevent it becoming dry. When perspiration is insufficient, skin can become flaky, hard, tight and uncomfortable and even cracked, leading to bleeding and infection.

Dry skin can result from other conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, psoriasis, eczema, and poor circulation, or be the result of a skin defect you are born with. Dry skin also worsens with age and can be affected by cold windy weather, sun, detergents, soaps and other chemicals.

Our skin produces a substance called filaggrin which acts like the cement between the cells of our epidermis (outer layers). Various environmental issues cause this to wear away, such as air conditioning, central heating, and regular washing. This then makes our skin more susceptible to flaking, peeling and infection such as fungus (ringworm, athlete’s foot) or bacteria (cellulitis).

When we bathe or shower, we remove the filaggrin from our skin, which then takes up to 3 days to replenish. However we are then usually showering again the next day, preventing the skins ability to re-establish this protective substance. Some ingredients in out bathing products also speed up the erosion of filaggrin – specifically sodium laureth sulphate. This is usually one of the main ingredients in bath foam, shower gel and hand wash.

What can I do?

  • You should visit a Podiatrist who can advise you on simple home care and life style changes which will improve the condition.

REMEMBER, dry skin will not disappear overnight but will improve with regular maintenance.