Commonly referred to as heel fissures, dry cracked feet is a condition affecting scores of people. These cracks though not deleterious in nature can be extremely painful and unsightly. They can even bleed when the person stands and can become infected. Dry skin may have a thick callus that is yellowish to dark brown in color. The skin on the inner border of the heel will appear slightly darker. These thick dry patches of skin prevent any moisturizing ingredients from getting absorbed into the underlying layers of the skin. Most people look at dry cracked feet as a nuisance and cosmetic problem, conducing to embarrassment when out on the beach.
Cracked feet is a sure shot indication of neglect of feet care. All the running around to get things done eventually causes wear and tear of the soles of the feet. They harden and crack, all the while giving the signal that the feet need some attention. Some of the other causative factors leading to cracked feet are as follows:
- Various skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause the skin of the feet to dry, thicken and crack.
- Standing for several hours or having jobs that involves standing for extended periods of time like teaching, working as a traffic police officer, working in a laboratory, a factory, etc. results in application of a lot of pressure of the feet causing the skin to crack.
- Obese people have a lot of body weight directed to the legs and feet. The extra weight causes the sweat glands to get damaged, thereby resulting in cracking of the feet.
- Inactive sweat glands in the feet can also be reasons to dry cracking feet.
- Wearing open back sandals on a daily basis can also lead to wear and tear of the heel skin.
- Walking heavily on one foot also causes dry cracked feet.
- Conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, etc., are also among the other cracked heel causes.
If negligence of feet care can conduce to dry cracked feet, then giving proper feet care can reverse the situation. Resorting to proper remedies for dry skin can help salvage the situation. Let's have a look at a simple remedy that one can easily carry out at home.
Wash your legs with water and soap and then soak them in tepid water. If you want you could add a few drops of olive oil to the water in which you have dunked your feet. The olive oil acts as a soothing agent and smoothens the skin. You could also add one cup of honey to a gallon of water and soak your feet in it. The honey moisturizes the skin and acts as a natural antiseptic, thereby healing the cracked soles.
After allowing the skin to soak for 15 - 20 minutes gently scrub off the dried skin by using a pumice stone. However, be careful to keep it gentle as vigorous scrubbing can only make matters worse. If you have large amounts of dry skin, avoid using pumice stone as it can cause more damage than good.
Using a clean towel, dry your feet well; paying close attention to drying the skin between the toes. This is needed because moist areas between the toes can act as a rostrum for breeding bacteria and conduce to infections. While drying also be gentle, lest you want to cause more damage.
Apply a foot ointment, foot cream or moisturizing lotion. These lotions are mostly beneficial for dry skin, however, not very effective in case of severely dried skin. These lotions help replenish the skin with glycerin and protect the skin with the paraffin. They also moisturize the feet and repair the damaged tissues of the feet. Applying a mixture of Johnson and Johnson's baby lotion, 5 drops of spearmint oil and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil on the feet will also prove to be quite effective.
Now that your feet are moisturized, the next step would be to put on clean, white cotton socks. The cotton material helps whisk away the moisture, while the white color prevents skin irritation due to any dyes. It's best to sleep in your socks, as this will make your feet feel really soft in the morning.
Carrying out this routine on a regular basis can help you take care of your feet in the most appropriate manner. Moreover, consuming a vitamin A rich diet and drinking plenty of water also helps keep the skin soft and supple. While dealing with your cracked feet, be patient. Do not get impatient and stop taking care of your feet. Some impatient people get scissors or blades and cut away the dry skin. However, this is a wrong practice that can cause more damage. Allow your feet to heal in their time.