Dry feet and cracked heels are quite common and are most often caused by the loss of water or oil in the skin. Other factors can include:
• Dry climate
• Conditions where the skin is constantly exposed to water
• Skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis
• Conditions that cause poor circulation
Dry feet can start off with an ashy looking appearance which can progress to flaky, rough skin. Over time, this forms a thick callus on the heel, which loses its ability to be elastic. Pressure from prolonged standing, walking, or excess weight can also cause cracked heels and discomfort. In some cases, especially in those with underlying conditions like diabetes, these deep cracks can get infected and require medical care.
There are a few different ways to fight back against dry feet:
1. Hydrate your skin by applying a foot moisturizer on a regular basis to keep your feet smooth
and baby soft.
2. When bathing or showering, avoid hot water (keep it lukewarm), use a gentle cleanser, pat your skin dry after you are done, and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
3. Wearing socks over moisturized feet when you go to bed is a good way to lock in the moisture overnight.
4. Wearing insoles and heel supports can help take the pressure off the heels and help prevent cracked heels.
There are many things you can do to get rid of dry feet and treat cracked heels.
FIND THE RIGHT MOISTURIZER
Home remedies for dry feet and cracked heels can start with applying a good moisturizer. Look for a cream or ointment to provide more intensive moisturization and also look for ingredients like urea for softening and salicylic acid and lactic acid which help exfoliate and remove dead skin. These may also soften any corns or calluses you have.
It may be helpful to do a foot soak and then use a pumice or scrub to remove dry skin from the feet before applying a moisturizer. There are also exfoliating electronic foot files that can be used to help remove dry skin.
TRY OVER-THE-COUNTER TREATMENTS
If you find it hard to find time to both exfoliate and moisturize regularly, a product like Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair ointment can help do both. It is a highly concentrated ointment formula with petrolatum, urea, and salicylic acid which helps exfoliate hard, dry skin and deeply moisturize in one convenient step. It is specifically designed to heal dry feet and cracked heels with visible results in just one day.
As with preventing cracked heels, wearing insoles and heel supports can help take the pressure off the heels when treating cracked feet. If you have athlete’s foot, make sure to use an antifungal foot treatment.
CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR
If you have diabetes or other conditions that cause circulatory problems or poor sensation in your feet, and are suffering from severe dry feet or severely cracked heels, talk to your doctor before you try any treatments on your feet. Exfoliating treatments with a pumice, scrub, files or topical products with ingredients like lactic acid or salicylic acid could cause a wound in those with these conditions.
Kerasal should not be used on irritated, infected, or open skin. It is also important to see your doctor if your cracked heels are severe.