Cracked skin on hands and feet – What causes it
It can crack if the skin becomes too dry. Cracked skin is common on the hands and feet, especially the fingers, thumbs, ankles, and heels. This article examines what causes dry skin cracks on hands, fingers, and feet and what steps you can take to aid skin regeneration for smooth, soft skin.
What causes cracked skin on hands, fingers and feet?
Extreme dryness is the number one cause of cracking and puffiness on the skin. There are a number of causes that can cause our skin to become dry, including:
- Genetics: Some of us are more prone to dry skin than others.
- Weather: Dry skin is a common complaint in cold weather. A decrease in humidity outside, an increase in central heat inside and the fact that we are constantly moving between the two make the skin dry.
- The way we treat our skin: Certain tasks (that require manual labor and / or frequent washing, such as mechanics, medical professionals, and hairdressers) put more pressure on the skin than others and can also cause it to dry out .
- Medication: Some medications cause dry skin as a side effect. You can read more about these and other causes of rough, dry, and cracked body skin.
The hands (especially the ankles and cuticles) and feet (especially the heels) are particularly prone to extremely dry and cracked skin.
Cracked skin on hands and fingers
The structure of the skin on our hands makes it less able to bind and store moisture, and we are at risk of extreme dryness compared to other parts of our body. You can find out why it is on the skin in different parts of our body.
Our hands are almost constantly exposed to changes in the environment and temperature. You are in frequent contact with water and cleaning agents. Washing our hands every day without gloves dries the skin. Some occupations involve regular exposure to friction and / or harsh chemicals that make the skin condition worse.
When the skin is dry, it becomes more difficult to retain the moisture it needs. This causes it to dry out more and crack. Symptoms range from small tears around our cuticles to large tears in our fingers, thumbs, and nostrils. Skin needs SOS care.
Persistent dry, rough, red, itchy, and irritated skin on the hands can be a sign of hand eczema or contact dermatitis, and you can learn more about atopic dermatitis on the hands.
Cracked skin on the legs
Our feet are under constant pressure. Whether we run, run or just stand still for a long time, they carry our weight. The epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) on the soles of the feet has naturally become thicker and stiffer. The skin on our feet also has no sebum glands, so it is particularly sensitive to dryness. You can learn more about the skin in different parts of the body.
The feet are then often exposed to pressure and friction from hard surfaces or unsuitable footwear. These stresses can make our feet, especially the heel pads, drier. The skin becomes thick and stretched, and eventually cracks develop. Broken heels are a common complaint and can be naughty and uncomfortable beyond basic skin health.
Causes of Itchy, Cracked Skin and How to Treat It
Itchy, cracked skin can be both painful and embarrassing. It often occurs on the hands, feet, and lips, but can also be cut off in the knees and elbows. It occurs most commonly in the colder, drier winter months, but can be more chronic. But you don’t just have to live with it. How to get your skin back in top shape.
Basics of cracked skin: Our skin is made up of three layers, all of which are made up of pumpkin and elastic cells. However, you need plenty of water to stay soft and pliable. When our skin is dry, it becomes less elastic and can even crack if it is very dehydrated. Anyone can suffer from severe dry skin, especially over 40 years of age, and there is a risk of dry, cold weather. However, sometimes this dryness can also be the result of contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction that occurs when a burning sensation occurs on the skin.
How to Remove Itchy, Cracked Skin: Acute dry skin complaints are not something to suffer from. These proven treatment options for cracked skin will help lock in moisture and hide your dry skin again.
- Soaking: Your skin may be exposed to more moisture than you need during a hot bath. Soak in a five to ten minute bath or in a spot of lukewarm water. It contains a few drops of essential oil or a mild cleanser that can help heal dry, cracked skin.
- Moisturize: Apply a moisture trap with a gentle, continuous lotion to your cracked area within minutes of leaving the bath or getting wet. In severe cases, choose an ointment or medicated cream that can help repair the outer layers of your skin and improve your body’s ability to retain the moisture it needs.
- Tick off other culprits: Cracked skin can only be the result of simple old dry skin cells, it can also be caused by skin infections or diseases like eczema or psoriasis. If the cracking repeats or is so severe that it is bleeding, see your doctor to make sure there is nothing beyond your dehydration.
- Cranking up the humidifier: In winter, our skin naturally dries out somewhat when the humidity decreases. However, if you do start to develop itchy, cracked skin, a humidifier is a suitable option.
- Don’t Pick: If your skin is cracked and rough, it will be difficult to see the trembling, shaking, and peeling skin. Not only does this make the area more susceptible to bacteria on your hands, but it can also make the situation worse and further irritate the area.
- Protect Healing Areas: Try not to irritate your skin after it heals. For example, use gloves in the garden to protect your hands. If your lips are tight in the winter, use a scarf when you are outside to help keep moisture around your face.
It is important that you give your time and attention to your cracked skin, as cracks are basically open wounds that can become infected if left untreated. The good news is that most cases can be treated with these simple solutions.
The cause of cracked skin and the best way to treat it
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Cracked skin can occur when your skin barrier is compromised. Usually it’s a symptom of dry and irritated skin, but there are many possible causes.
Your feet, hands and lips can be especially prone to cracking. However, depending on the cause, cracked skin can develop in other areas as well.
Most causes of skin fractures can be treated with home remedies. However, it is better to see a doctor if your cracked skin is severe or if you have complications.
Let’s look at the different causes of skin breakouts and ways to get relief.
What causes cracked skin?
Depending on the cause, cracked skin can be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms. Paying attention to these symptoms can help determine the cause.
Dry skin or xerosis is the number one cause of cracked skin.
On smooth and watery skin, natural oils hold moisture and protect the skin from drying out. However, if your skin doesn’t have enough oil, it will lose moisture. It dries and shrinks your skin, which can lead to cracking.
Dry skin can be:
- Cold weather: In winter, low humidity and temperature can dry out your skin. Indoor heating also reduces the humidity in your home.
- Chemical irritation: Many products such as dish soap and laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals. These substances can damage your skin barrier and lead to dryness.
- Hot water: Washing with hot water or eating out of the shower can reduce the moisture in your skin.
- Medicine: Dryness can be a side effect of some medications, such as: B. topical retinoids.
- Excess moisture: Constant exposure to moisture can cause your skin to become irritated and dry. This can happen to your feet after sweating for a long time. This is because water is irritating to the skin.
Eczema is a skin condition that causes redness and itchiness. It is also known as atopic dermatitis. It can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly affects the wrinkles of the face, hands, inner arm, and the back of the knee.
The condition causes the skin to appear very dry, which can lead to cracking. Other symptoms of eczema include:
- Peeling off
- Severe itching
- Rough, rough spots
Psoriasis is an immune deficiency disorder in which skin cells grow too quickly. As the extra cells form, the skin becomes rough. Inflammation also plays a major role.
Freezing the cells quickly can lead to dryness and cracking:
- Red Spot
- Silver white fiber
- Itching in some cases
These symptoms can develop anywhere, but most often they are:
Common Cracked Heel Diabetes Complications Type 1 and Type 2. This condition can lead to nerve damage due to diabetic neuropathy or diabetes.
With diabetic neuropathy, your nerves cannot properly control skin moisture. It can lead to dryness and cracking, especially on the feet.
Other symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Numbness in legs or hands
- Pain in legs, feet, or hands
- Weak ankle
People with diabetes are at higher risk of skin infections. In many cases, dryness in the feet can be the result of athlete’s foot or tinea pedis.
Athlete’s foot is another cause of cracked feet. It is a skin infection caused by a fungus.
Infection, usually between the toes or the soles of the feet, can cause skin to crack. Other symptoms are:
- Peeling off
An athlete’s foot often affects people with constant legs such as swimmers and runners. It is also common in people with diabetes.
If your lips get too dry or irritated, they can crack, tear, and in some cases, swell, itch, or become sore.
Inflammation or dryness of the lips can occur for a number of reasons. Here are some common causes of chapped lips:
- Frequent lip licking
- Cold weather
- Exposure to air
- An allergic reaction to a lip balm or other product
Keratolysis peeling exfoliates hands and feet. It usually affects the palms of the hands, but it can also appear on the soles of the feet.
The skin loses its natural barrier when the top layer closes. This can lead to dryness and cracking.
Other symptoms are:
- Air-filled bubbles
Home treatment for rough skin
If the condition isn’t too severe, there are several different ways you can treat your cracked skin at home. Depending on the cause and location of your cracked skin, you can use one of these self-care treatments.
Moisturizing ointment or cream
Since dry skin can cause cracking or deterioration, it is important to keep the skin hydrated so that you can do so by applying moisturizers frequently.
Try ointments and creams. These products tend to be more effective because they can help keep moisture in the skin.
You can also try products with the following ingredients:
- Jojoba oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Shea butter
Reapply the moisturizer two or three times a day immediately after bathing. Focus on the driest parts of your body.
Petroleum jelly uses cracks to seal and protect your skin. Jelly has the ability to retain moisture, which helps heal cracked skin.
How To Use This Treatment:
- Apply petroleum jelly to the places where your skin is cracked.
- Cover the area with a bandage or gauze. When treating cracked heels, wear socks.
- Repeat three times a day immediately after bathing.
Vaseline is particularly suitable for dry lips. Before using this product, make sure that the list of ingredients does not contain any allergens.
Topical hydrocortisone cream
Topical hydrocortisone cream can be a good alternative for cracked skin that is red spots or itchy. This type of cream contains corticosteroids that reduce irritation and swelling.
Hydrocortisone creams are available in different strengths. Very little energy is available as over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that you can buy at your local drug store. You will need a prescription from your doctor for a strong hydrocortisone cream
When using hydrocortisone, follow the directions in the package. You can combine this treatment with a moisturizer. First apply the hydrocortisone cream and pour the moisturizer on top.
It is best to speak to your dermatologist or health care provider before using any topical hydrocortisone cream to see if it will help with your condition.
A liquid skin dressing can treat deep cracks in the skin. This OTC treatment works by holding the cracked skin together, which promotes healing.
Read the packaging guidelines for applying the liquid dressing. Most liquid dressings use a small brush to apply the liquid. The liquid dries and seals the skin.
Since the liquid bandage needs to stick to your skin, avoid using other creams or ointments.
A gentle peeling can remove dead, dry cells from the surface of the skin. This remedy is often recommended for cracked feet and heels.
How to Exfoliate Your Legs:
- Soak your feet in water for 20 minutes.
- Use a loofah or pumice stone to gently wipe dry skin.
- Dry the pat and apply a moisturizer.
- Exfoliate once or twice a week to get started.
If you think your athlete has legs, you can purchase a topical fungus treatment like terbinafine (Lamicil) and apply it on your feet.
What’s the best way to treat cracked heels at home?
Broken heels, also known as fissures, can be bothersome but sometimes lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Treat them by paying more attention to your feet and moisturizing them at least twice a day. Look for concentrated moisturizers (Usarin, Citafil, others). Some moisturizers contain skin emollients such as urea, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids, which can help remove dead skin. These can cause slight itching or irritation.
Take special care of your heels before bed: soak your feet in plain water or soapy water for about 10 minutes and let them dry. Then gently rub your heel with a loofah or foot washer to remove any dead skin. Apply a heavy oil-based or petroleum jelly (Vaseline, Aquafor Healing Ointment, etc.) and put on a pair of thin cotton socks before bed to help support the moisturizer.
Don’t ignore dry, cracked heels as they can cause deeper eruptions over time that increase your risk of infection. If self-care measures don’t help, talk to your doctor about other treatment option.
Complications from cracked skin
When your cracked skin doesn’t go well with self-care and home remedies, it can cause other problems. Possible complications are:
- Deep skin damage
- Bacterial infections such as cellulite
- Pain when walking or standing
When to see a doctor
Mild cases of cracked skin can be treated at home. If your cracked skin doesn’t get better or worse after two weeks of treatment, be sure to see your doctor.
If you have cracked skin, you should also seek treatment:
- To bury
- Become reddish or more angry
- Severe itching
- With fever
In many cases, the skin turns into cork skin that is extremely dry, puffy, or irritated. When your skin loses that much moisture, it breaks down when it happens. Most people develop cracked skin on their feet, hands, and lips, but this can affect any part of your body.
Usually, you can treat cracked skin with petroleum jelly, moisturizer, mild hydrocortisone cream, and liquid bandages. However, if the cracking doesn’t improve, or if you have signs of infection, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.