How to get rid of dry and cracked feet

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Cracked feet are a common problem for many individuals both young and old alike, and usually signify a lack of moisture in the skin. Due to the fact that the skin on the bottom of our feet have no oil glands they usually suffer from drier skin in comparison to that on the rest of the body.

In addition to dry and peeling skin you may experience symptoms such as thickened skin, redness, itchiness and soreness. In some rare cases you may even suffer from inflammation of the heel, this is a sign that something needs to be done soon in order to care for your feet properly. Conditions such as eczema, corns, verrucas, diabetes and thyroid disease may contribute to the health of your feet’s skin however the most common causes include:

  • Long periods of time spent on your feet e.g. more than 4 hours per day spent on foot.
  • Vigorous regular exercise.
  • Lack of moisturising the skin concerned.
  • Walking somewhere on a daily basis, such as to and from work each day. Even smaller walks when performed each and every day can cause broken and cracked feet.
  • Cold weather may factor in to be a cause during the winter months.
  • Having hot baths and/ or showers frequently or for long periods of time.
  • Using harsh soaps on your feet are bad for the skin, thus we recommend using softer soaps such as Dove Beauty Bars due to the moisturising effect they have upon the skin.
  • Obesity can have a negative effect on the health of your heel skin due to the excess pressure placed upon the feet.

So without further ado, here are our well-researched and highly recommended 13 different ways on how to heal those dry and cracked feet.

The 13 different ways on getting rid of those painfully dry cracked feet!

A lemon and rose water foot mask

To create this foot mask you will need:

  • ½ cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of glycerin
  • 2 teaspoons of rosewater
  • Warm water
  • A pumice stone or similar device to remove dead skin from the soles of your feet.
  • Sea salt
  • An old pair of socks

Take a bowl full of warm water and add a sprinkling of salt, a few drops of lemon juice, one tablespoon of glycerin and a teaspoon of rosewater. Place your feet within the bowl and allow to soak for half an hour or until the water is too cold for comfort.

Remove your feet from the bowl, pat dry and then using the pumice stone begin to remove any dead or peeling skin.

Mix the remaining ingredients together and apply this mixture to the areas in which your feet are the most damaged, placing an old pair of socks on your feet to keep the mask in place.

Allow the mask to stay on overnight for best results, washing off in the morning.

Repeat this method once or twice a week, moisturising as usual in between using.

Do not repeat this method every day due to the effects lemon can have on your skin when used frequently, this may result in irritation and perhaps even further drying of the skin.

Vegetable oil rub

All you’ll need is vegetable oil and a pair of old socks!

Wash your feet before using the vegetable oil as a rub, massaging into the dry skin. Put on a pair of socks to avoid a mess on your sheets and leave on overnight, washing off in the morning with warm water and a gentle soap. Repeat this method every night before going to sleep.

Or, alternatively, olive oil and lavender oil

If you do not want to use vegetable oil you can, alternatively, use a small amount of both olive oil and lavender oil on your feet using the same method as when using vegetable oil. Olive oil is perfectly nourishing for cracked soles of the feet resulting in healthy feet once again.

Banana foot mask

To create a banana foot mask you will need 1 banana and a tablespoon of honey. Simply mash up the banana into a paste and add the tablespoon of honey, applying onto the soles of your feet. Keep this paste in place for a minimum of 20 minutes, the longer the better. The banana should act as a nourishing moisturiser for even the driest of feet.

Paraffin wax and mustard oil mix

As the title says, all you will need for this mixture is paraffin wax and mustard oil. To be specific you will need 2 tablespoons of paraffin wax and 3 or 4 drops of mustard oil, combine these ingredients well over heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then apply to the affected area, leaving to dry for up to an hour. Wash off well once the mixture has dried onto your feet, repeating once or twice per day depending on the severity of your issue.

Note: After the wax has been heated it will be extremely hot and capable of burning your skin. Do not place on the skin while the way is still hot, wait around 5 to 10 minutes as a cooling period. If you have overly sensitive skin paraffin wax may not be for you as it can cause rashes on the skin due to it’s ability to maintain heat.

Honey for cracked heels

Mix around 1 cup of honey into a bowl of hot water. Place your feet into this bowl allowing them to soak for roughly half an hour. Once you have removed your feet from the water gently scrub away any peeling skin with a pumice stone and moisturise.

Alternatively, you can apply honey directly to your feet and put socks on leaving overnight for a deeply nourishing effect.

You can do either of these methods on a regular basis to treat cracked feet, we recommend completing the process every other day. If your feet are particularly dry you can perform this method 2 times per day, reducing the frequency as the soles of your feet improve.

Oatmeal foot mask

To create an oatmeal foot mask you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of powdered oatmeal
  • 4-6 drops of olive oil OR 2 tablespoons of honey

Mix the powdered oatmeal with either a few drops of olive oil or alternatively 2 teaspoons of honey. Apply the created paste all over your feet focusing on the least healthy and dry areas, allowing to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash the paste away with warm water and pat the feet dry with a clean dry cloth. Complete this method once every day, reducing to around once per week once the condition of your feet has improved sufficiently to ensure your soles stay healthy.

Coconut oil

Liberally apply coconut oil all over the soles of your feet, put on socks and go to bed. In the morning you can then wash off your feet with a gentle soap and pat dry with a clean towel -it’s as simple as that! Repeat this method nightly until your feet are once again soft.

Coconut oil works by hydrating the skin, moisturises and removes dead skin cells from the foot.

Epsom salt

To create a epsom salt foot bath all you need is:

  • 1 Cup of epsom salt
  • A bowl
  • Warm water

Add the cup of epsom salt into a bowl of warm water and allow your feet to soak in the foot bath for around 20 minutes to half an hour. Do this once every other day for best results. The salt should work to soften the skin in question.

Note: If you struggle to find epsom salt in shops you can purchase online at Amazon.

Aloe Vera as a moisturizer

Pumice stone and cocoa body butter

You can use aloe vera gel as a great moisturiser for dry and cracked skin. Simply squeeze and aloe vera leaf to extract the gel and rub onto the affected area.

Another way to use aloe vera on the feet is to add the gel to a bowl of warm water and soak your feet in the water for long periods. After removing your feet scrub with a pumice stone and apply the gel directly in small amount massaging into the skin.

This plant’s gel heals the skin, reduces the ridges and cracks as well as softens the skin. Thus acting as the perfect 3-in-1 moisturiser!

Pumice stone and cocoa body butter

Before you can begin using a pumice stone on your feet it is best to soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes to avoid damaging the skin more.

Once you have dried your feet completely scrub gently with the pumice stone to remove dead skin cells.

Rinse your foot, pat dry and massage in cocoa butter for that extra softness of the skin.

Do this once per day until your feet are once again healthy, then reduce to every couple of days.

Note: you may want to use a pumice stone on your feet over a towel to collect the dead skin that is removed.

Shea butter and socks to lock in the moisture

Apply shea butter generously all over you feet, massaging into the skin and the applying more. Use a pair of socks to lock in the moisture and keep the lotion on your feet.

Use this method once every day before bed for best results. You’ll notice softer feet in no time!

Shea butter is a well-known moisturiser which works especially well due to it’s high vitamin A and vitamin E content. Therefore shea butter can work miracles, helping to nourish and hydrate the skin in which it is applied to.

Vitamin E oil

Make a hole in a vitamin E capsule and remove the oil, repeat this 5 times to obtain enough oil. Using the extracted oil, apply this to the soles of your feet focusing mostly on the driest areas of skin, massaging in the skin for at least 5 minutes.

Apply the vitamin E oil anywhere between 2 to 3 times per day. If your feet are particularly dry and cracked you may also want to use a pumice stone each time before re-applying the oil. Make sure to wear a pair of socks after each application in order to keep the oil in the correct place.

Other ways of healing your cracked feet include: an avocado foot mask, vaseline and lemon juice, rice flour, indian lilac, petroleum jelly, listerine mouthwash and vinegar soak and lastly sesame oil.

How to prevent suffering from cracked and dry feet in the future.

Moisturise your feet regularly.

One of the best ways to avoid your feet becoming cracked and dry again is to regularly moisturise them. Once every other day is sufficient enough to keep your feet looking and feeling soft as well as hydrated.

Use pumice stones once a week to remove dead skin.

By regularly using pumice stones to remove dead skin you encourage newer and healthy skin to grow. This method also prevents skin from becoming overly hard and difficult to remove and soften in the future.

Stay a healthy weight.

Staying a healthy weight is another brilliant way of relieving some of the pressure that is put on our feet every day. The heavier we are the more pressure and strain that is put on our feet which can result in harder skin, dry skin and pain.

Take shorter and cooler baths or showers.

Heat can become a large part of why our feet are so dry and cracked. Taking regular hot baths or showers may be a factor as to why the feet become so unhealthy. To combat this try reducing the heat of the water used and reducing time spent in it.

Try supportive and cushioned shoes.

The more supportive the shoe, the less pain and harm you will inflict upon your feet. If you spend long periods of time on your feet each day and as a result suffer from hardened and cracked skin you may want to invest in a better pair of shoes which allow your feet to move and stretch seamlessly without overheating.

Drink plenty of water.

Drink plenty of water.

Hydration is super important when wanting to keep our skin healthy, smooth and nourished. The recommended amount of water we should drink each day is 2 litres, so to your hardest to drink close to that number when wanting to keep your body and skin healthy.

We hope that..

We hope that you are now fully equipped to deal with your dry and cracked feet, and how to prevent them from coming back in the future! We here at Balance Me Beautiful love hearing from our readers, so feel free to comment below about which method for cracked feet is your favourite, or perhaps you have your own treatment you would like to share. Whether it be using epsom salt, bananas or even oatmeal there are many different ways you can improve the health of your feet at home and without spending too much!

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As always, thanks for reading guys. Come back soon!
By Chess Taylor.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.