Starting a couple of months ago, for no apparent reason, my daughter has developed a dryness on bottom of her feet, and lately it has started to crack a little here and there and is becoming painful. Is there a standard diagnosis for this and consequently an over the counter treatment. Would like to avoid time and expense of a dermatologist if this is relatively simple. Any good lotions or oils to use? Any dietery alterations or supplments that might make a difference? Thanks...
An excellent lotion for dry, cracked skin is:
VASELINE PETROLEUM JELLY CREAM, DUAL ACTION, ALPHA HYDROXY FORMULA. It comes in a 4 oz. white plastic bottle. I prefer more natural lotions, but this one has worked good for us. Hope it help!
Sounds like eczema. Typical treatment from a derm would be hydrocortizone. Atlantageorgia's advice sounds good. You can also have your daughter try plain old petroleum jelly - just slather it on at night and wear socks to bed. Avoid moisturizers that have added fragrance.
Most peeple are not aware that this type of condition can be the result of a fungal infection in the skin on the feet. Have her see a dermatologist to rule out fungus before trying any type of medication. If her skin condition is the result of just extreme dryness, then she can follow the instructions below that I copied form another one of my posts.
Lotions will only sit on the surface of the skin and condition the cells that are ready to be sloughed off during normal body washing. To help dry skin 'heal', try using a combination of Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E oil. The best mixture is to use 8 oz. of sweet almond oil with 2 oz. each of jojoba and vitamin E. The molecules of jojoba oil are so tiny that they are the only ones that can penetrate the surface layer of the skin, open up the pores and draw the healing and conditioning properties of the other 2 oils in after it. Using this mixture on a twice daily basis will help to heal extremely dry skin. The oils can be purchased on-line, or through most health stores.
Once you rule out the fungal infection (good thinking, Marti!), you might consider purchasing a paraffin bath. I have a contact dermatitis condition on my hands that's irritated by paper that I work with at my job. The paraffin has really helped! I would suggest buying unscented or menthol wax, though. Some of the scented and colored waxes can irritate sensitive skin. Have your daughter dip her feet several time to build up a nice layer of wax on her feet and wrap them in a plastic bag and a towel. Experiment with how long she should leave the wax on. Try doing this several times a day. This should help moisturize her feet, and the menthol/mint wax has antibacterial and healing properties as well (I think- better look it up).
You didn't mention how old your daughter is. I would say with any children under, oh, 14 or so, you will want to always supervise the use of the paraffin bath. (Fourteen sounds old, but you can't ever be too safe! The wax is hot, but I've never been burnt.) Be careful not to leave it plugged in 24/7, and take all the ordinary precautions that you take regarding electrical appliances that get hot (I'm sure you knew that!).
I have noticed that several stores like Walmart, Target, and Penney's carry paraffin baths for $29-$65. I'm sure a health care store would have them too, but they might be more expensive.
She may want to see a Podiatrist.Also after washing and drying her feet thouroughly rub a small amount of Vaseline on her feet and wear thick socks.After a few uses it makes the rough,dry and cracked spots smooth..Another lotion I use is Foot Works Therapeutic cracked heel relief cream by A***..
Thanks everyone for all the knowledgeable suggestions; thought I would be considerate enough to report back in for the benefit of others on results. For expediency, after noting the previous post about using various oils, I tried primrose oil (that's all I had on hand) topped off with a "healing" lotion that I found in a cabinet, varied with an occasional mild OTC cortisone cream (altho I was concerned about the use of the latter for her). This concoction produced immediate results, and in a matter of days it has practically cleared up. Again, thank for all the advice...
Applying vasoline (petroleum jelly) will do nothing but sit on the surface of the skin and act as a 'barrier' by trapping the natural oils and moisture in the skin. Once you forget to apply the jelly, the skin will dry out again.
I do agree with the post about using a paraffin dip, but would first suggest a trip to the dermatologist or podiatrist to rule out a fungus infection. Dipping into the paraffin without knowing what is causing the problem can lead to contamination of the wax -- not a good thing. Once fungus or excema are ruled out, cleanse the feet, apply the mixture of jojoba and vitamin E oils to the skin and allow it to remain on the skin for at least 5 minutes before dipping into the paraffin. Dip three times, then wrap each foot with saran wrap or use the little baggies that come with the machine. Leave the feet wrapped for at least 10 minutes, or until the wax has completely cooled. Remove the wrapping and the wax by grasping the wrapping at the ankle, then pull down toward the toes so the wax remains in the plastic. Discard the wrapping AND the wax. Putting the used wax back into the container can contaminate the entire pot of wax and it will have to be thrown out.