How can podiatrists help with Xerosis (Dry skin)?
Many people experience dry skin (Xerosis) from time to time, but patients on certain cancer therapies may experience severe dry skin. Dry skin can cause the top layer to split especially around the heels and cause painful thickened hard skin (callus) and corns.
Routine podiatry will help to reduce fissures and callus through debridement (finely skilled scalpel reduction of dead skin) and leave healthy pain free skin. Frequent use of ointments to rehydrate the skin is recommended. Ointments that soften skin cells (keratolytics) such as salicylic acid 6% with a urea base of 10%-40%, can be applied. Patient must check that the skin doesn’t become white and rubbery and if so stop using the cream for a few days. A cream containing a weak trichloraectic acid solution (keratolytic) and urea, such as Clearzal hard skin remover and available over the counter can be used. This has delivered good results with close monitoring (Shah-Hamilton, 2020).
Avoidance of the risk of skin breakdown can arise in patients with thin and sensitive skin, therefore close monitoring of the skin is paramount. Where diabetes also exists, any cream application should be cautiously selected for diabetic skin. The following regular foot problems include
Changes within the foot can cause new footwear problems.
Podiatric-medical intervention should help to avoid any undesirable effects of anticancer therapy. By working in partnership with the cancer team many concerns can be resolved. It is important when seeing either your cancer team or podiatrist that you are encouraged to liaise with each person to achieve the most successful outcome of treatment. Always speak to your podiatrist about any problems you notice on your foot no matter how trivial. As the specialists of feet, like dentists are the specialist for your teeth, they can reassure you..
Supplementary facts and podiatry from Afni Shah-Hamilton
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Thanks for reading ‘How can Podiatrists help with Xerosis (Dry Skin)?’ written by Afni Shah-Hamilton and edited by David Tollafield.
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