Skin Care

Fighting Winter’s Dry, Cracked Feet

feet

Although it is one of the more embarrassing body “problems” out there, dry and cracked feet are a very normal part of being human. Of course, we can understand why you may want to fight your dry, cracked feet—especially now that winter is over and you’re ready to slip into a pair of cute, strappy sandals!

One lesser known skin fact is that the skin of the bottoms of the feet is naturally drier than other areas of skin because it doesn’t have any oil glands; instead, it counts on thousands of sweat glands to keep the feet moisturized. However, there are all kinds of conditions—from diabetes, to athlete’s foot, and side effects of medications—which lead to dry feet. Not to mention, all additional conditions aside, it’s important to take proper care of your feet; without proper care, your feet are bound to become dry.

Do You Have Dry, Cracked Feet?
It might seem like a simple question, however, there are other symptoms of dry feet aside from them simply feeling dry. Since a quick review never hurt, check out this list of symptoms to be aware of when self-diagnosing and treating dry feet.

Cracked heels

  • Rough skin
  • Flaking and/or peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Rash
  • Bleeding

Woman with cracked heels

Causes of Dry Feet
A few causes were mentioned briefly above, the chief cause being a lack of moisture. That being said, there are several factors which lead to a lack of moisture in the feet and ultimately cause them to become dry and irritated. The below list offers popular causes; could any of these be the reason for your dry feet?

  • Taking very hot showers or baths
  • Non-moisturizing (i.e., drying) soaps
  • Cold weather
  • Low humidity levels due to heating systems
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Aging; the skin retains less moisture as we age
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, etc.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease

Fight back!
Regardless of the cause of your dry feet, you can fight back and reclaim smooth feet just in time for the summer season. Below you will find three different home remedies; whether try one and stick to it or try them all, you’re bound to notice smoother feet in no time.

  • Pumice
    Scrubbing with a pumice stone is a widely used cure for dry feet and has been found very effective for those with cracked heals. Try it out for yourself by first soaking your feet in warm water for about twenty minutes. Pat your feet dry, then use the pumice stone to scrub off loose skin. Give your feet a good rinse with clean water and pat dry, then apply foot cream and slip into some socks.
  • Coconut Oil
    Coconut oil is an antimicrobial and antifungal; this means that in addition to moisturizing your feet, coconut oil also fights and prevents bacterial and fungal infections. After soaking and washing your feet with a loofah or washcloth, pat your feet so they are nice and dry. Apply a tablespoon or so of coconut oil to each foot, giving yourself time to massage the oil into your feet (keep in mind that it won’t totally absorb, this is normal). After a few minute of massaging the oil into your feet be sure to put on a pair of cotton socks.
  • Menthol
    Many people have found relief with a naturally medicated moisturizer. After soaking and washing your feet, you can either apply a layer mentholated chest rub to your feet (the same one that you might put on your chest or nose when you’re congested), then slip on a pair of socks. Another option is to add a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil to your regular foot cream, and of course, keep it all in place with some socks.
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