Among the many causes of flaky feet are naturally dry skin, bathing habits and using products that contribute to dryness. Dry indoor heat may also increase a person's chances of developing this issue. In some cases, a medical condition is responsible for the flaking, such as when a person develops a fungal condition referred to as athlete's foot.
One of the most common causes of flaky feet is dry skin. Some people have skin that is naturally very dry and will develop flaky skin in this area because of it. Dry skin can develop based on a person's geography as well — people who live in arid, desert areas, for instance, tend to suffer more from dry skin than those who live in rainy areas.
A person's habits also can contribute to dry, flaky feet. For instance, if a person regularly bathes in water that is very hot or uses drying or irritating soaps or body washes, this may affect his skin. Additionally, not being in the habit of using a moisturizer on a somewhat regular basis can affect some people's skin this way.
Poor fluid intake may also contribute to the development of flaky feet. When a person does not consume enough fluid on a daily basis, he may become slightly dehydrated and suffer from drier-than-normal skin. This can cause flaking and peeling on the feet as well as on other parts of the body. Additionally, the type of fluid a person drinks matters a great deal. For instance, water is usually a better option than coffee, which can have a dehydrating effect.
In some cases, dry indoor air is at fault when a person has flaky feet. For example, when fall and winter come and people turn on their home heating systems, the air indoors becomes drier than normal. This leaches moisture from the skin and can cause flaking and peeling. Some people find that using a humidifier and drinking more water helps to combat this issue.
Sometimes a foot fungus is responsible for flaky feet. For example, some people notice this as a symptom of a condition called athlete's foot, which is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes. This condition causes cracking, peeling, and flaking of the skin on the feet, especially between the affected person's toes and in the heel area. Unfortunately, it can also cause a good deal of physical discomfort, as a person with this condition may experience such symptoms as itching and burning. Some people even notice that their feet sting when they are dealing with this condition.