Dry skin is a problem affecting the lower leg and feet and the incidence increases with age (common in elderly). It is common that dry skin results in itching which may be intense as the condition aggravates. Factors that can make the condition worse are cold temperatures, dry environments and air- conditioned exposure.
Dry skin is related to abnormal keratin production. In the elderly, decreased skin fatty acids result in decreased skin barrier and hydration. Dry skin may also be secondary to a medical problem such as a slow thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Treatments and Prevention
Management of dry skin includes the use of bath oils and emollients. One should avoid the use of irritating solutions and/ or creams, topical alcohol applications and saline solution which all result in further dryness to your extremities.
Sometimes, a dry skin on the feet accompanied with flakiness may be related to a fungal infection. When this is suspected one should consult his podiatrist for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.