Dermatology Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Dry thick hard scaly skin on ankles

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?
22 Responses
242489 tn?1210500813

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
Avatar universal

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
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.

Best Regards

Joe & Ghislaine
Our Web Site: " http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/medals.cmms/ "
Avatar universal
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 cracks...us crazy glue...no 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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
Jayne, your brother has the same as me, Karen. It is on the palms of my hands the most. But after a week of this new creams. (oh, the one i couldnt remember is a steroid cream, prescription) My hands almost are starting to look normal. And I feel much better. Sounds like your brother is suffering some self esteem problems with this disorder. I feel gross with it and very embarrassed. It effects so much throughout the day. It is horrible when your own kids dont want you touching them because your hands are gross. So keep giving your bro support!
Take care, He needs to go to a doc to slow this problem down.
Avatar universal
Hi karen
thanks for the advice the glue  sounds like a great idea , my wife (Larissa)  is a bit unsure though .
  It  does seem like its hereditry, her sister ,mum, or mom  as you call them and grandmother both have it on ther hands and feet
the conditions you describe   are almost identical to the conditions   on her feet, including difficulty walking and  bleeding   frequently .  It does lead to self esteem problems as well .
Is Psorisis  easily treatable  or  more a suffer in silence kind of thing?  I will scan the archives  and see what else is available
I know there are so many different  snake oil type "cures" around I was having trouble finding  information  on line  from any source with out  bumping into that type of thing and their "miracle  cures "  Best of luck  with yours  as well
PS .I was checking the  Derm forum  daily , but with no results ,  I became despondant and hadn't checked for ages , I just thought i would check  again -Im so glad I did . cheers   Ian
Avatar universal
Hi Ian
Nice to see you again. Yes i say mom, you must be british to say mum. i am from canada.
Anyway, Psorisis is not easily treatible. I have got some info from a medicine package called Dovonex. It is a vitamin d cream made by LEO Pharma Inc. Maybe you can look up more infor about psorosis at their site. Seems to me so far it is not responding well. I wonder if it will ever go away. I have gotten used to the contant bleeding from cracked fingers. But i wonder about blood poisening from so many open cuts.
From what i have read so far, there is no cure and they are not sure why it starts. Great! But stress and heredity is their answer for all. I hope your wife is doing OK. I was so depressed from this i told my husband that i would leave him so he could get a wife that doesnt have so many medical problems. I am on meds now for depression. This skin problem is very serious to the lives around it. Effects all, work, cooking cleaning, holding hands with the ones you love is taken  away from us. The little kids say my dry cracked skin hurts their skin. And wont hold my hand. For a mother this is very depressing.
Anyway, thanks for lettng me go-on-andon.
Take care,
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions