Strange question, I guess, but one that’s bugging me.
Nearly two years ago I started experiencing a foot problem wherein the the callouses on my soles crack open, down to the “virgin” skin below. It happens in two places most frequently: the spot where my little toe joins with the rest of my foot, and on the outside end of the balls of my feet. As you might expect, this is rather painful.
The reason I question whether my floors might have something to do with it is that these problems started not long after I moved into my current apartment. This is in a small apartment building that is fairly old. I don’t know exactly how old, but I’m guessing pre-WW2. It’s old enough that my kitchen has a genuine, built-in icebox. My downstairs living room floor is painted wood and the kitchen has linoleum, but the upstairs, where I spend most of my time, is carpeted (aside from the linoleum in the bathroom).
I never experienced this particular problem before moving into this apartment. I live alone, and don’t share my shower with anyone else, nor do ever go barefoot where other people do (e.g., public swimming pools, gym showers, etc.), so I’m ruling out athlete’s foot. Besides, I don’t have any other symptoms of AF. Also, I can usually “fix” the problem fairly quickly by applying Bag Balm ointment to my feet; no other medication necessary.
I don’t wear shoes indoors; I’m usually in my socks. And the locations of the cracking callouses are precisely where my feet are most frequently in contact with the floors at home. Most of my time at home is spent in front of my computer, and I usually sit with my ankles crossed, which means that the outside edges of my feet are almost constantly touching the floor. The problem also tends to pop up most often on my days off from work, when I get to spend most of two days in my socks at home. I suspect I don’t get the cracking very often on work days because I’m on my feet all day and they’re sweating inside my shoes, keeping the callouses soft.
Granted, two days of shoelessness could simply be providing enough time for my soles/callouses to dry out and crack, but again, I never had this problem before moving into this apartment.
So could there possibly be something about these floors that is sucking all of the moisture out of my soles? I realize that correlation =/= causation, but the timing here is suspicious.