It’s the end of your day and as you remove your shoes you are once again met with dry cracked feet. They not only feel scaly and painful, but they also look like you’ve been walking on razor blades! No matter how rough and callous your feet currently are, this does not have to be the fate of your feet forever. There are five steps you can follow to learn how to heal your dry cracked feet and prevent them from drying out in the future.
Basic At Home Treatment for Dry Cracked Feet
- Wash Feet in a Moisturizing Foot Bath- The first step for at-home treatment is to wash or soak your feet everyday in lukewarm water and a mild soap. You can add a soothing foot product to help condition your feet if you choose. Dr. Scholl’s and Burt’s Bees offer great medicated moisturizing products. However, if you’d rather use items from the kitchen, mixing one cup of honey with a gallon of water and soaking ten to fifteen minutes can drastically improve the moisture in the skin. Honey is also a natural antiseptic and is a safe cure for cracked or bleeding skin. Be careful not to use the pumice stone too vigorously on your cracked feet as it may make them worse.
- Dry vs. Cracked Heels- If your heels are just dry, you can use a pumice stone (less than $2 at the drugstore) to gently scrub off dead and dry skin patched on heels, soles and toes. Don’t try to get feet smooth all in one scrub treatment. It is better to use the pumice stone lightly for a few days. You can maintain this smoothness by using the pumice stone a couple time a week in the shower. If your feet are so dry that they have cracked, skip this exfoliating step until the cracks have healed and closed.
- Dry Feet Completely- Second, you’ll need to dry your feet well. Pay close attention to the skin in between the toes. If this area is not dried properly it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to infection. Pat the feet and do not rub harshly or you can cause more damage!
- Apply a Good Foot Mosituizer- Apply a foot cream, lotion or foot ointment. There are many lotions available offering moisturizers such as Vitamin E, shea butter, aloe and more. These are often helpful for dry, but not severely dry skin. Podiatrists and diabetic specialists often recommend a foot cream such as O’Keeffe’s working feet cream. This cream is not greasy, hypoallergenic, has no odor and contains no oil or alcohol. It helps replenish the skin with glycerin and protect the skin with paraffin. These ingredients help to sooth, hydrate and repair the skin tissue of the feet. There are also home remedies available which are said to soothe. For instance, mixing baby lotion with spearmint and eucalyptus oil is a known remedy. It is said to create a “super lotion” which sooths, heals and smells fresh. Other natural remedy moisturizers include almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil and coconut milk. You can try the moisturizer of your choice to see which works best for you.
- Optional: Wear White Cotton Socks- The fourth step requires you to put on clean, white cotton socks. The cotton helps to whisk away moisture while the colorless material prevents any dyes from irritating the skin. Many people choose to put their socks on at bedtime and wear them overnight for enhanced moisturizing. When you wake up your feet will feel as if you got a spa pedicure overnight!
Everyday Tips to Improve Overall Foot Condition & Appearance
Finally, be sure to check your feet everyday. Look for cuts or blisters and treat them promptly. Keeping your feet clean and applying moisturizer is an excellent way to care for your feet. You can also insure foot health by eating a diet rich in Vitamin A, which promotes skin health. Foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach and pumpkin are all excellent sources.
In addition to the foods you eat, the amount of water you drink is important as well. Drinking six to eight glasses of water can help to keep your skin, soft and subtle naturally. The main causes for severe dry skin or xerosis (as it is known medically) is often dehydration, Vitamin A deficiency or diabetes. You do not have to suffer from dry cracked feet or feet fissures! Simply follow the steps above and you’ll be kicking up your heels with happiness.