Dry skin on the heels and feet is a very common malady suffered by millions of people. That’s because they are the most used parts of the body, and so they take on the pressure of everyday life. Improper care of your feet can result in cracked feet, especially around the heel. But the problem can be avoided with proper attention to your feet. You can ease the pain and unsightly look with proper hydration, careful care and in extreme cases, medical attention.
Remedies for Cracked Feet
These are some of the most common remedies for cracked feet.
1. Pumice Stone
Use plenty of warm, soapy water to soften the skin of your feet. Then wet the pumice stone and rub it along the areas where you have dry, cracked skin. This will help soothe the area. You can also try a specialized foot soak made of warm water, petroleum jelly and a moisturizing shampoo before you use the pumice stone. Follow up this twice-daily treatment with moisturizing lotion.
2. Epsom Salt
Soak your feet in a solution of water and Epsom salt; about a half cup in a foot bath will work. Soak for ten minutes, then use the pumice stone to soothe the rough areas. Use moisturizing lotion afterward, and only do this two or three times a week to avoid making the dryness worse.
Mix a cup of oatmeal into a foot basin and soak your feet in the healing liquid. You can also add honey or olive oil if desired for even more softening power. Soak in this mixture for 30 minutes to soften cracked feet.
4. Paraffin Wax
Melt the wax in a microwave or double boiler until it is warm to the touch. Add mustard oil to the wax in equal amounts. Then dip your feet in the wax. Pull your feet out, let the wax harden on your feet and then dip them again. Finally, wrap your feet in plastic. When you remove the wax and plastic fifteen minutes later, your feet will be soft and supple.
5. White Vinegar
Pour a quarter cup of white vinegar into a warm water foot bath. Soak for 10-15 minutes three times a week. After your soak, exfoliate with a pumice stone, dry your feet thoroughly and apply moisturizer. You can hold in the moisturizing goodness even longer by wearing clean, breathable cotton socks.
6. Lemon Juice
Add lemon juice to warm water, soak your feet, then use a stiff brush to remove the dead skin from your heels. You can also use a mixture of lemon juice and papaya, mashed into a paste and pressed into your cracked feet. Rinse your feet, then moisturize.
Blend a few bananas in a blender to form a creamy paste. Wash your feet, then apply the paste for 15 minutes, then rinse it away. Wash your feet again, first with warm water and then with cool water. Do this every day to get smooth, silky skin.
Soak the skin in a combination of glycerin, salt, lemon juice, and rose water. Soak for ten minutes, then scrub with a pumice stone. Or you can apply a mixture of glycerin and rose water to the cracked areas of your feet every day, and within weeks your feet will be supple again.
Dissolve honey in warm water and soak your feet for ten minutes. You can also create a scrub made of honey, rice flour and apple cider vinegar. Scrub your cracked heels, then leave the scrub on for ten minutes before washing your feet.
10. Olive Oil
Warm up some olive oil, dab it onto cotton balls and rub the oil into your feet, paying close attention to the cracked areas. Slip on cotton socks and wait for an hour, then wash your feet properly. Moisturize when you’re done.
Video: Home Remedies for Cracked Heels
Preventions for Cracked Feet
If you don’t have cracked feet yet but the skin is becoming dry, stop the problem in its tracks with these remedies:
Using the mixture of honey, rice flour and apple cider vinegar mentioned above, exfoliate your feet on a daily basis to keep the skin soft and supple.
Invest in a very good moisturizer and use it daily. A good home recipe is to apply petroleum jelly before bed and then slip socks over your feet. Other moisturizers include cocoa butter, vitamin E oil or shea butter.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
What you put into your body makes a difference in every part of it, including your feet. Get plenty of iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and foods rich in zinc.
4. Avoid Spending too Long in Water
Spending time in a wet or damp area can wreck havoc on your skin, especially if you are in water that has detergents or other irritants in it. These irritants can break down your skin’s oils, and that can leave your feet dry and cracked.
5. Soak with Warm Water
When you do soak your feet, make sure the water is clean and very warm. Adding a spoonful of oil or something that smells good, such as mint leaves, can offer even more relief.
Causes and Treatments of Cracked Feet
Understanding the causes and symptoms of dry feet can help you figure out which home remedies are most likely to help.
Dry feet can be caused by some lifestyle choices, such as very long or hot showers, harsh soaps, not moisturizing during cold weather, long periods of time in the sun or low humidity in your home. Other causes could be skin conditions that cause dry skin, medical conditions, and natural aging.
These might include roughness and redness of the skin, flaky or peeling skin, or cracks in the feet. Your feet might itch or break out in a rash. These symptoms are usually worse during the winter months.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take care of the problem with home remedies. If those don’t work, visit a doctor.