Dry thick hard scaly skin on ankles
by Mary, Feb 01, 2000
I have developed patches of thick, scaly, hard, dry skin on the outside of both feet just on and below the ankle bone, maybe 1" x 3" areas. The patches are not discolored except for white striations from dryness. No cream or lotion or oil I have used on it shows any discernable improvement. Pumice stone didn't help much either. Can you suggest a name for such a condition? A treatment?
by Alan Rockoff, MDBlank, Feb 03, 2000

It sounds as though you are describing calluses.  Are you wearing footgear which rubs?  If so, padding the skin may help.

To soften what's there, try a cream containing 20% urea.  You can buy that over-the-counter in the drugstore.


Dr. R
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Member Comments (20)
by Drm M.D. ASR, Feb 01, 2000

These sound like calluses.  Do they rub against something (if so, padding them with moleskin may help.)

For treatment, start with a cream containing 20% urea (OTC).  This softens thickened skin very well.


Dr S
by Ian, Feb 03, 2000
I've been watching for a topic like this to come up. The soles on  my wifes feet  are very thickened  and calloused  they often crack  very deeply and then bleed .The cracks  tear open stockings and the like .Similarly no cream ever fixes the problem although the "heavy duty" creams from the pharmacy help the most  recently  after much gentle persuasion from myself she went and saw a podiatrist. He cut away much of the thickened skin with a scalpel . The result  was cosmeticly pleasing  although my wife was unable to walk for 3 to 4 days  as her feet  were so tender . He did coment that he had never seen feet so badly affected (her sister and mother have the same skin complaint ).She is quite embarresed by them and feels they are untreatable ,A doctor told her grandmother  probably 45 years ago  that she was missing a layer of skin a diagnosis that has stood until the present day  Would you be able to comment on what this sounds like ? Who would be the most apropriate type of medical person to see? Could it be a fungal or bacterial  infection . Any advise you could offer would be apreciated Thanks
by Mary, Feb 03, 2000
Thanks so much, Drs. R & S.I don't know why something as simple as calluses never occurred to me! Now that you've said that, I'm sure that's what they are. I am also aware that the condition is due to pathetic postural habits with regard to my desk chair, which has hard rough fabric upholstery. I tend to make a lap for my cat in this chair by plastering one or the other ankle against the fabric. This has been going on for about 6 years, with me complaining all the while that I really need to get a better chair. I picked up a jar of the 20% urea cream today, but I hope I can also change my bad desk habits too! Or reupholster my chair in moleskin?? lol!
Ian, your wife's problem sounds awful. I hope you can find a solution for her.
by Ian, Feb 07, 2000
Thanks for  your concern Mary  I really dont know what to  do to help . They are not likely to  get better in a hurry  and she is very reluctant to seek help .I cant help thinking it  is a fungal type problem with the extra cream  making the problem worse
by alicia, Feb 22, 2000
i have the same problem in the winter, its called dry skin.  try lubing up those feet and ankles with petroleum jelly, then slip a pair of socks on before going to bed. after a few days it should be much smoother.
by Joe, Feb 24, 2000
Hi Mary,

   This sounds like you are allergic to possibly Home Products that you use such as: Laundry Soap, Foam Baths and also food that you may eat.   Putting Socks on at night will not help as it will overheat your skin, make it sweat, dry it and consequently make it worse.   First off, it sounds like you have an advance Psoriasis on the verge to become cracking and bleeding.   You must act at once and if you wish for us to help out, please, contact us at: " medals.***@**** " and it will be a pleasure to help you.

   We are a Distributor of Natural Body & Home Care Product for a Company called: " Druide Laboratories Inc. from Montreal, Canada " and we have specialized in Skin Care of People.

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by cracked feet karen, Feb 29, 2000
Hi Ian, I have the same problem as your wife, and now it has gone to my hands. It was so bad that in the fall, I used my volleyball kneepads to crawl around the house on, because the feet where so cracked. I just went to the dermatologist yesterday! He says I have psorisis. The skin grows rapidly and it is a genetic thing. It is not a fungus and isnt contagious. My feet kind of look yellow and red warm patchs before they go dry then thicken and crack, do mary's? And the cracks are so deep it is hard to walk. Believe it or not I have had 3 doctors tell me to do this and i thought they were crazy. But it really works. I tried it last night and i cant believe how normal it feels now. OK, you ready! On the crazy kidding. I didnt believe them. But it works. And didnt hurt. One crack i have now is about 1/8-1/4inch deep and 1inch long altoghether. But now it is closed. and i can walk. I usually have to walk on tippytoes because it hurts to put pressure on heels. And i have put on weight from inactivity. Did Mary? Doc put me on a Vitamin 'D' cream and other type of acidic cream (forget name)to alternate each day. Also keep wearing the vaseline and socks at night (if really bad use saranwrap over vaseline). It is the only way to get relief from the itchingand dryness and to soften it up so we can slough it off. By pumice stone or cutting of. Ian Be glad it isnt on her hands. Mine are so gross, i had to give up two jobs so far. And had to quit playing my fav sport. beach volleyball. My hands and feet bleed to much on contact.
Hope it helps. Thanks for helping your wife. My husband doesnt say anything to me. I wish i had someone like you who understood with compassion. So i told him to get a new model wife without all the imperfections!!haha.
ps. if you notice Joe is on everyones message board trying to sell something. I hate that. I feel like i am a leper and they are trying to feed off of us. I have had so many people approach me with their snakeoil cures. They shouldnt be allowed on these forums to sell there wares. We are looking for personal help and compassion from someone that knows what we are going thru. Not some sales pitch. But of course the net is for everyone and allkinds.
by jayne, Mar 14, 2000
My brother has just shown me his hands, finger tips cracked & his heal thickened and cracked, also the palm of his hand losing layers of dry skin.  Total gross out.  I will give him your suggestions.  He has to get better.  I feel so sorry for him.  He hasn't been to the doctor. I wish he felt important enough to take time out of his busy day and go. He is important!!  Thanks for advice... I will definetly pass it on.