Dry, Cracked Feet
We are definitely hard on our feet. Whether they are exposed to the elements like cold weather, running on them for miles or stuffing them into tight stilettos. It is not a surprise that dry, cracked skin is a common complaint. Dry skin on the feet can be unsightly and embarrassing. It can also become itchy, burning, painful and may even lead to deep cracks in your skin called fissures.
Dry skin on the feet and toes, just like anywhere else on the body, can occur because of a number of reasons. As stated above, dry and cold weather, certain medications, harsh ingredients in soaps and detergents may strip away the protective covering in our skin. You may even get red, scaly patches.
If you have tried moisturizing but it did not help you may have a bigger issue or medical condition. Some medical conditions may include psoriasis, eczema, diabetes or athlete's foot. I have seen many patients that thought they had dry skin when they actually athlete's foot and were treating it the wrong way. Athlete's foot can cause dry, scaly looking skin as well as redness, irritation and even blisters. Be careful before treating dry skin and if you are concerned definitely contact a podiatrist for an evaluation.
Hacks for Dry Feet
Step 1: Exfoliate
Dr. Suz Heals likes to use all natural ingredients that you may find at home whenever possible. Here is a great recipe for at home foot exfoliation!
1. Combine equal parts olive oil and brown sugar to make a thick exfoliating scrub.
2. Use your hands to rub the mixture all over your clean feet, focusing on your heels and any other places that are extra dry.
3. Massage your feet with the scrub vigorously for 10 minutes
4. Rinse the mixture off completely with cool water.
5. Pat your feet dry with a clean towel. Voila!
Step 2: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
For a deep skin moisturizer I combine coconut oil and shea butter. Coconut oil should definitely be in your pantry. It has many wonderful uses in cooking, skin care, weight loss, disease,infection prevention and more!
What you will need:
3/4 cup of Coconut Oil (find best quality coconut oil here)
1/2 cup of Shea Butter (find organic Shea Butter here)
15 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil or combination lavender and tea tree oil for fungus (find essential oil here)
1. Combine the coconut oil and shea butter in a sauce pan and place on low heat.
2. When melted, remove from heat and stir in the essential oil.
3. Store in a jar with a lid. Make sure to store somewhere cool in order to use when solid.
Massage moisturizer into feet, focusing on dry, cracked areas. Depending on how dry your feet, you may need to do this daily or every other day to start. Once your skin is healthier you can use this hack whenever your feet need a little extra TLC
Step 3: Cover Your Feet
Using a good foot cover is essential to help lock in healing moisture. Make sure to protect your feet with a comfortable covering. Many people will use socks which will cause the moisturizer to rub off and will do little to help with absorption.
I have had some patients tell me they tried using plastic wrap and then putting socks on, which seems like a good idea until they start tripping and falling all over the place! Use a non-slip sock or foot cover like the one from Earth Therapeutics Moisturizing Foot Socks.
Cheers to Your Health!