Anhidrosis is the medical term for having dry and often flaky skin on the feet, which may make you vulnerable to cracked heels and other problems.
While our feet do contain over 250,000 sweat glands, it is often a surprise to learn that our feet do not have any oil glands - which can make them more prone to becoming dry, especially with the cooler temperatures. Unfortunately, having dry skin can also cause other problems, including that the sensation around our feet can decrease (which can be a significant problem if we have diabetes or other problems that affect our ability to see what’s happening around our feet). We also become more prone to developing thickened skin (callus) and cracked heels, which can pose health risks if the cracks become so deep that they accidentally crack open the healthy skin beneath, leading to potential pain, bleeding and increasing the risk of infection.
Signs of dry skin on the feet include:
Dry skin on the feet is surprisingly common, with many people experiencing it at some point in their lives. It can be caused by various factors, with some common causes including:
For many people with mild skin dryness, they are able to successfully manage their dry skin and restore their skin’s moisture by making one important change in their daily routine: applying an emollient or moisturising cream to the feet every night before bed. While there are several creams we can recommend, the real “trick” is consistency - remembering to do it every evening to help support your skin’s moisture and protection. Products you can try include:
Additionally, we recommend taking care of your feet by avoiding excessively hot (and frequent) showers and baths, wearing good supportive footwear, keeping your feet warm and protected in the cooler temperatures, and avoiding harsh skin products and chemicals - particularly if you were using them prior to noticing your skin becoming dryer.
Here at Matt Raden Podiatry, our trusted and experienced podiatrists listen to the concerns, goals and needs of our patients with dry skin on their feet, and utilise a range of evidence-based treatment methods to help you get the best outcome - to keep your feet feeling supple and moist, while avoiding the potential complications like cracks and fissures.
Treating anhidrosis with us starts with understanding the likely causes of your skin’s dryness - and seeing if there are any other factors at play, such as having an Athlete’s foot fungal infection alongside your skin dryness, which will require a different treatment route to address the fungus in order to get rid of the white, dry patches and restore your skin to its supple state.
Next, we’ll address any foot concerns related to your dry skin that have arisen, including:
We’ll then discuss the other factors that are likely contributing to your skin dryness, and teach you our podiatrist-approved ways to help you best manage your dry skin and prevent it from recurring. We can also recommend specific products and how best to use them. If we suspect your skin dryness is linked to other medical conditions or problems, we’ll also instruct you on the best next steps, including providing any referrals if needed.
If you are currently living with dry skin on your feet, our team is here to help - and to ensure you have the best experience doing so. We’re proud to go above and beyond for our patients, focusing not only on managing your symptoms, but helping you get the best long-term outcomes so you don’t continue to battle dry skin for years to come.