Written by Peter Okeugo - Nigeria
Rougher and darker than the surrounding areas, patches are spots of skin which can be found on the elbows, knuckles, knees and heels. To treat the condition, adopt the following measures
Moisturise while damp
The best time to oil or cream the rough parts is after a bath while the body is still damp and the skin has some moisture on it. Moisturising lotions help to lock in moisture so that it doesn't evaporate from those rough areas. The best moisturiser is one that is thick and heavy, like petroleum jelly. Oil-based moisturisers are better than water-based ones. The best time of usage is at night before going to bed.
Grease and seal
The driest parts of the skin are on the heels, hands, and elbows. They can be sealed with grease to treat dryness and the resulting roughness. You could consider greasing the rough hands and wearing gloves to bed. To grease and seal rough elbows, wear a long-sleeved pyjamas top with tight-fitting sleeves to prevent exposure of the affected area. For cracked heels, wear socks over it after it has been greased.
Drink some milk
Milk soothes the skin and contains lactic acid, which is beneficial to skin and helps in healing it. Also, applying it to the skin reduces any itching that could occur from rough patches. Simply pour some cold milk into a bowl, dip a neat and light washcloth into it and apply it to the skin for five to seven minutes. The anti-inflammatory property in the milk reduces itching.
See a doctor
Not all rough patches are due to dry skin. If they refuse to go off, it is best to see a dermatologist for further treatment. Some rough patches on the skin could be caused by some medical conditions and allergic reactions.
The feet are more prone to cracking because it has no oil glands and relies on sweat gland to keep it moist. Cracked heels usually start from redness, to flaking before cracking.
To treat cracked heels
- Moisturise regularly with a herbal cream as an alternative to petroleum jelly. A moisturiser like this does a better job of penetrating deep below the heels' skin surface than the petroleum jelly. This is best applied before bedtime and a reasonable amount should be massaged into and around the heels.
- After moisturising, the feet should be lightly wrapped with nylon, or a loose cotton socks should be worn to lock in the moisture.
- In the morning, run a pumice stone over the heels to scrape off the dry build-up of flesh. For a tough one, it is best done after shower when the skin has been softened.
- Invest in foot creams, especially ones that contain urea.
- Wear shoes that allow the feet to breathe.