Cracked or dry skin is a common skin condition that affects people of all age groups. Besides affecting the appearance and texture of the skin, it might also be accompanied by itching. People affected by skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis might observe dry skin with other accompanying symptoms.
More often than not, the condition is easy to treat and prevent. Mild cases may be dealt with a few self-care measures at home. However, for cases wherein there is considerable damage to skin, it would be best to consult a dermatologist.
In mild cases, you could try the following home remedies:
- Soaking your hands and feet in a solution of warm water and apple cider vinegar helps improve the texture of the skin. The idea is to hydrate and moisturize the skin, in order to keep it from cracking further. This must be done for 15 minutes daily. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the solution for increasing the efficacy of the moisturizing process.
- It is advisable to apply a moisturizing cream to the cracked heels, once you are done with the soaking. If the weather is cold, it is advisable to wear socks.
- If dryness of the skin is accompanied by itching, then soak the affected area in warm water mixed with baking soda. This would help in softening the dry area.
- Pat dry the areas between the toes gently. These are areas which are often neglected. It is advisable to massage them with essential oil after bathing.
- The heel happens to be an area that is the most affected, and one of the reasons for this is going barefoot for long periods. Wearing good quality shoes and socks keeps the area from getting cracked and prevents corns and calluses.
- It is important to wear fresh pair of socks daily. Sweat and moisture that builds up in the foot may aggravate the condition. That is why it is important to always wash your feet and pat them dry, after you come home from work.
- If you have to work with water for longer periods, then consider using rubber gloves.
- If you are living in cold weather conditions, it would be best to wear winter gloves to avoid dry, cracked skin on hands.
- Gently exfoliating the cracked hands and feet helps in getting rid of the dry, old skin. This will promote the growth of new, healthy skin cells.
- Apart from all these measures, one must also follow a healthy diet. Nutrients which promote healthy skin are vitamin E, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and zinc. Including food items that are rich in these nutrients in the diet will surely help in the prevention of dry skin as well.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dermatologist.