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Products to Treat Rough Skin on Feet and Elbows

By Cynthia Bailey MD.

products to treat rough skin on feet and elbows

Have soft satiny and highly touchable skin with a dermatologist's skin care products to treat rough skin on feet and elbows. These areas are often rough and it takes work to keep them soft and caress-able. I think it's important so I've made it my priority to create simple, proven products and skin care kits to soften rough skin on the feet and elbows. 

Rough and thickened skin is called hyperkeratosis and there are different causes.

Hyperkeratosis on the feet and elbow: Causes, symptoms and treatment.

Hyperkeratosis is a thickening of the outer dead cell layer of your skin called the stratum corneum.

  1. It can happen from friction and rubbing as a normal protective mechanism for feet and elbow skin. This is often asymptomatic until the skin cracks into painful fissures. 
  2. It can happen in a localized area in the form of a corn or callous. The focal hyperkeratosis often creates pressure pain. 
  3. It can also happen after menopause in a condition called keratoderma climactericum.
Hyperkeratosis of the feet often starts on the edges of the heels and sides of the feet along the soles. It is often asymptomatic and mostly of a cosmetic concern - but that still matters. 
    dermatologist's products to treat rough skin on feet and elbows

    Dermatologist's tips for the best treatment for hyperkeratosis and thick skin on the feet and elbows?

    Thick skin on the bottoms of the feet is easily controlled when you combine tough physical exfoliation with “chemical” exfoliation. - Dr. Bailey

    What is physical exfoliation?

    Physical exfoliation involves the use of a rough scrub, sponge, cloth, pumice stone, or file on wet skin to remove dead skin cells on the top layer of skin called the stratum corneum. It is quick and the thick layer of dead cells comes off to yield softer skin. I use this trick in my Soft and Smooth Feet Kit mentioned below. 

    Never be aggressive with physical exfoliation because it is possible to overdo physical exfoliation and abrade into the living layer of skin to create a wound. Diabetics and people with peripheral neuropathy that reduces feeling on the feet should not do physical exfoliation on their feet for this reason.

    Use a moisturizer after bathing to keep the skin soft and supple. Maintain your soft, smooth feet using physical exfoliation as needed. You can use the same treatment on the elbows, but the skin is thinner and it's necessary to be much gentler.

    What is chemical exfoliation?

    Chemical exfoliation involves the use of keratolytics, which are ingredients in products that help to dissolve the 'glue' holding dead cells together.

    The most effective keratolytic to soften rough skin on feet and elbows is glycolic acid. - Dr. Bailey

    Glycolic acid in a professional-grade strength and acid pH formulation works best for thick soles. I rely on my Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, which is a strong professional lotion for rough feet and elbows. It also helps to soften all rough body skin.

    best products to treat rough skin on feet

    I've combined physical exfoliation with the perfect pumice and file, together with Glycolic Acid Body Lotion is available in my Soft and Smooth Feet - Rough Skin Remover Kit. I depend on this kit to keep my feet soft and smooth - hence the name!

    Elbow skin that is only slightly thick may exfoliate sufficiently with my Ultra-Fast Smooth Skin Triple Action Kit routine, which also gives you smooth skin all over - skin that's so soft it's like a new toy! 

    best products to treat rough skin on elbows

    What does Keratoderma Climactericum mean?

    Keratoderma climactericum was originally called Haxthausen's Disease or Syndrome.

    • Keratoderma means a marked hyperkeratotic thickening of the dead skin cell layer.
    • Climacteric refers to a critical time in life. It comes from the Greek word 'klimakter', which literally means "rung of a ladder".

    Thus, climacteric refers to a big moment in the ladder of life - such as menopause. The word has come to actually mean menopause (male or female), and denotes the time of life when fertility is in decline.

    I always find it funny that this common phenomenon of post-menopausal rough feet has such an interesting name! The good news for this post-menopausal dermatologist, is that it can be fixed with my Smooth and Soft Feet Kit!

    Athlete's foot infection can cause rough feet skin too.

    Athlete’s foot causes rough skin, too. If you think you have athlete's foot, be certain to treat it with a medicated cream designed to treat this foot fungus. Any rough skin left over can be treated with my products below.