For some people, dry skin goes beyond an occasional nuisance and becomes a chronic problem. When it comes to the feet, there are a number of possible causes of moderate to severe dry skin that doesn't go away with store-bought creams. Two common causes are Athlete's foot and skin conditions related to allergies, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema). Health conditions such as diabetes and frequent swelling of the legs can also lead to chronic dry skin.
In recent years, studies have been emerging which indicate another cause of chronic dry skin and it happens to be a health condition that has been receiving a lot of attention lately -- celiac disease, or gluten intolerance. Celiac disease, which is also referred to as gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by a reaction to the protein in gluten, which is found in wheat and other grains. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people has celiac disease and that 74% of sufferers will develop skin problems such as dry skin. Nail problems, such as thickened or brittle nails also affect roughly 20% of those with celiac disease.
Source: Diseases of the Gut May Present Cutaneously. (2011) Internal Medicine News.
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