Proper foot care is paramount if you have diabetes. That’s because neglecting your feet could lead to foot ulcers or a life-altering infection. Luckily, many foot-related diabetes complications are preventable.
Maybe you’ve noticed it after a shower, or after kicking off your shoes at the end of a long day – the skin on the bottom or sides of your feet and toes is flaking and peeling off! You think to yourself, “Is this normal? and should I be concerned…?”
Well, you’re not alone! In many cases, peeling skin on your feet or between your toes isn’t anything to worry about – well, except for the fact that it can look a little icky. But there are some instances when skin peeling from your feet is a sign of a more serious problem that won’t go away on its own. Here are some of the more common factors that can cause the skin on your feet and toes to peel and flake, and what you can do to remedy the problem and feeling comfortable shoe-less again.
Skin buildup / natural exfoliation – Everyone’s skin goes through a natural process of exfoliation or sloughing off dead skin cells. But if your feet are always in closed shoes or socks, and you don’t have time to get regular pedicures or foot scrubs, dead skin can build up on your feet and eventually start to look flaky. Try using a gentle buffer or scrub on your feet in the shower to help remove old skin.
Sunburn –If you’ve recently had a lot of sun exposure while barefoot or wearing sandals, your feet may have gotten a little more than sun-kissed…and the same post-burn peeling that happens on the rest of your body is now happening on your feet. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops and sides of your feet before exposing them to the sun, as the sun always finds a way to exposed parts of your body.
Lack of moisture – Severely dry skin on feet and toes can eventually start to peel and flake. Environmental factors like extreme temperatures and dry air can worsen the effect. Be sure to moisturize the skin on your feet daily with a lotion, oil or foot cream to combat dryness.
Athlete’s foot – This fungal infection of the foot can cause dryness, scaling, and peeling of the skin on the soles of the feet, and may even be accompanied by itching and odor. Over-the-counter antifungal usually clears up the condition, but you should see a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.
Toe box dermatitis – Wearing shoes with a rubber toe box can cause warm air and foot sweat to become trapped inside the shoe. This can eventually cause redness and peeling of the skin on the toes. Wearing a shoe made of ‘breathable’ material is the best prevention.
Eczema – This inflammatory skin condition can cause dryness, itching and peeling all over the body, including the soles of the feet. Only a doctor can diagnose you with eczema and help you decide on the best treatment, which may include using a steroid cream to ease symptoms.
Are your feet looking or feeling less than fabulous these days? Is this skin on your feet peeling, itching, inflamed or flaking? Have the recommended tips above not relieved the problem? If any of these is the case, schedule an appointment with us today to get to the root of the problem.
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