How to Get Rid of Dry and Cracked Skin on Feet

Our feet have to carry us throughout our entire lives and yet it is an area that many people neglect when it comes to skincare. The result of this neglect is often dry and cracked skin on the feet, particularly around the heels and sides of the feet.
Although cracked skin (fissures) on the feet can be unsightly and even painful, it is not a serious condition and is one that can quite easily be sorted and relatively quickly if you take the time to care for your feet. First though, let's take a look at why it happens.
What causes cracked skin on the feet?
The main cause of cracked heels is skin that is extremely dry (xerosis). The following factors will make you more likely to develop cracked skin on the feet.
- If you spend a lot of time on your feet
- If you go barefoot often
- If you wear sandals or open backed shoes regularly
- If you are overweight as this will put more pressure on your feet
- If you have a medical condition like diabetes or a circulatory disorder
- If you smoke
- If you have a physical disorder of the feet
- If you are elderly
- If you suffer from a lack of omega 3 fatty acids or zinc in your diet
It's important to note that if you are suffering from diabetes or circulatory problems, speak to your doctor before carrying out any sort of treatment on your feet.
How to heal cracked feet
There are two aspects to healing cracked feet, the first is to treat the cracked skin and the second is to prevent it from happening again.
There are numerous creams and lotions available on the supermarket shelves that will claim to heal cracked skin in a matter of days but if you don't want to part with your cash for that, you can just as easily treat the cracked skin at home using ordinary vegetable oils you have in your kitchen cupboard.
Oils that are effective on dry skin include Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Hemp seed oil, Evening primrose oil, Walnut oil, Thistle oil, and Grape seed oil but any oil will do the trick.
First bathe your feet in tepid water, never hot water as this will dry the feet out even more. You can use a pumice stone or exfoliating pad to gently remove some of the hard skin on the feet but be careful if the skin is broken as you could make it worse. Never try to remove hard skin with razor blades or other sharp objects or you could seriously injure yourself and perhaps introduce infection into your skin.
Once you have bathed your feet gently pat your feet dry with a clean towel and massage warmed vegetable oil into your feet and then put on a clean pair of cotton socks. It's best to do this last thing at night before you go to bed as it will give the oil a chance to work overnight.
Repeat this every night and in a few days you should start to see a noticeable difference in the condition of your feet although it may take a few weeks to heal them completely.
Once your skin has healed, in order to prevent your skin from becoming dry and cracking again, make sure you regularly moisturise your feet and treat your feet to a weekly oil treatment and a foot massage if you can afford it or you can persuade your partner to do it.
Never bathe in hot water and if you have to wear sandals, just make sure you moisturise your feet afterwards.
So far all the advice has been about treating your feet on the outside but you can also help heal your cracked heels by treating them from the inside too by taking fish oil on a daily basis.
Why fish oil could help heal cracked feet
Fish oil contains essential omega 3 fatty acids that our body needs to survive but can't produce itself. The only way we can get omega 3 fatty acids is through our diet and the sad fact is, very few of us are actually getting enough.
The reason for this is that the really important omega 3 fatty acids such as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are only found in fatty fish such as herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon and tuna and let's face it, no one eats too much fish these days due to the toxins they contain.
This means that most of us are not getting enough of these essential fatty acids on a daily basis and indeed one of the first signs that you are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids is dry and cracked skin.
How to Get Rid of Dry and Cracked Skin on Feet