Can someone help figure out what the heck is going... - MY SKIN

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Can someone help figure out what the heck is going on with just my right foot?


Only for the past 3 or so years, my right foot subddenly is constantly peeling, cracking, and what looks similar to athletes foot with thick and rough skin.. but no athletes foot medication has ever improved the situation. My left foot (upper left corner photo) has had absolutely none of these symptoms. I have done everything from foot peels, athletes foot medication regiments, callus removal, exfoliation to deep moisturizing with no affect on the right foot. In these photos this is the "prettiest" my problem foot ever gets. Ideas? Feelings? Theories?

5 Replies

I'm curious as to any ideas about this. I have the same issue. Doctor says it's not athletes foot and have me some cream, but that was way back in my high school days. Do you experience hunks of skin peeling between your toes? Or insane itching after a bath? I have those issues that accompany this, but it had never been painful.

Definitely between toes but not so much the foot itching. What kind of cream was it and did it help? Idk if it's related but I do get insane itching on my lower legs. No solutions for that either so I've resorted to keeping a jar of lidocaine cream handy

[Lidocaine cream or spray like Bactine is definitely soothing and good to keep on hand. I couldn't survive without it.😊]

It could be a filaggrin mutation, which is a skin barrier deficiency. Basically it means that the weave of your skin is too loose. The tight junctions that form a normal, healthy skin barrier are more open in an individual with this particular mutation. It varies in severity, so it can be mild in some and more problematic in others. It can cause skin too absorb too much moisture and be absorbent like a paper towel. It allows all the bad stuff in while the good is washed out. Skin can end up too soft and then when it starts to dry it sets up like concrete. This can cause skin to thicken and/or peel in the affected areas. Hands and feet are almost always affected. Keeping skin moisturized, but dry is key. You want to avoid skin being immersed in water as much as possible. Showers instead of soaking in a bath, bathing off instead of shower/tub bath, natural fiber clothing and shoes for breathability, wearing gloves to wash dishes, etc. can be helpful. Also, there is a link between this mutation and other skin and allergic conditions. (You can read up on pubmed.)

Thyroid disease (particularly hypothyroidism) can cause dry, peeling skin and nails. Sufficient thyroid hormone is required for healthy functioning skin and skin cell turnover. Hyperthyroidism can cause the skin to be clammy or overly moist and soft, weak nails. The same skincare suggestions as above work here, as well.

I have the filaggrin mutation. My skin has always been overly absorbent. But, it wasn't until my thyroid issues became a serious problem that the peeling started. (And even when you are appropriately medicated with a good vitamin and mineral profile, the problem can still persist, (in a lesser degree hopefully), but persist nonetheless, in my experience:/)

Of course, another consideration is your vitamin and mineral levels. They must be replete or skin issues, including peeling, can be a result. All of them are important, Vitamins A, Methylated Bs, C, D3, K2, E, Zinc, and Iron. Also, eating a whole foods diet with clean protein and plenty of veggies and fruit in moderation. And avoiding food sensitivities which can affect your gut and skin.

It can be quite overwhelming, searching for answers.

All the best in your search.😊

Kleechills in reply to Ell17

I will absolutely be looking into that, thank you so much for the response!

Please don't be dismissive of such, but as one who spends most of the summer barefoot, also running in his bare feet, have you ever considered treating your feet with coconut oil?

I appreciate that you may have tried every foot care product on the market, with little success, but since coconut oil (which is essentially a plant based fatty acid) remains high in lauric acid and moderately high in vitamin E (skin cells require fat to maintain homeostasis), by beginning to apply it to both feet, you should find that it begins to nourish and condition the various layers of your epidermis, reaching as far as the subcutaneous layer (particularly if you wrap your feet in cling film afterwards), thus, soothing the skin and also restoring its comfort and condition.

Forgetting other ingredients, which can irritate and harm the skin, the problem with most foot lotions is that they also contain water. Following their application, while the water contained may initially plump skin cells, resulting in an appearance of hydration, once it begins to dissipate, dryness/ roughness and tightness of the outer layer (stratum corneum) returns.

Additionally, regularly exfoliating skin upon the soles, with use of a pumice sponge (not stone) when showering, will help to rid the stratum corneum of excess dead skin, thus, allowing the application of coconut oil to nourish, condition and improve condition of skin upon both feet.

As to why the sole of your right foot repeatedly presents as such, whereas the left doesn't, could be attributed to many things.

For example, does your right foot rotate externally far more considerably than your left foot when walking or running (usually caused by dysfunction at hip joint (which can be rectified)), creating repeated sideward/rubbing of skin across the joints/bones in your feet, regardless of whether pronation of the foot/ankle exists? Do you proceed to wear cotton socks upon your feet when exercising, thus, encouraging sweating of the feet and loss of moisture from the skin? If so, are you actively replenishing the lost moisture?

The answers to your question are both wide and varied.

Equally, though, while the dryness/roughness may be attributed to vitamin deficiencies (unlikely, since only the right foot remains affected), by regularly nourishing/feeding skin with a fatty acid (don’t be afraid of natural fat), regardless of the reason, you should find that condition of skin upon the soles of both feet begins to improve, due to the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties also possessed by coconut oil.

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