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Remedies for cracked heels and dry feet

fix your dry heels and cracked feetOur feet take a serious pounding. The average person in the United States takes over 5,000 steps per day, with busier days sometimes resulting in twice that many steps. It makes you wonder why foot health is often overlooked when we rely on them so heavily.

One common foot issue that many experience is dry feet, which results in skin cracking on the heels and other areas of the foot. The skin on our feet has no oil glands, instead relying on sweat glands to keep feet hydrated and moisturized. When combined with other medical conditions like diabetes or athlete’s foot, the pain can be debilitating.

Causes of dry feet

Dry feet are caused by one thing: a lack of moisture within the skin. Symptoms of dry feet include itchiness, redness, cracks, flaky skin, and rash. There are several reasons why the skin on your feet might not be properly hydrated:

  • Skin conditions. It is important that you speak with a foot specialist about whether or not an underlying condition might be the cause of your cracked heels and dry feet. Conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause the conditions that lead to dry feet.
  • Cold weather. During cold weather, humidity levels are low. This can exacerbate moisturization problems in the feet and cause symptoms to worsen.
  • Excessively hot showers. Excessively hot showers result in much of the water turning to steam and evaporating and can lead to your feet drying out more than they normally would during a shower. If you find that you are experiencing dry feet or heel cracking and are the type to take very hot showers, you might want to consider giving the cold knob an additional turn.
  • Getting older. Our skin loses its ability to hold moisture as we age. This increases the chances of dry feet and the need to take extra measures to prevent issues as we age. Lots of time in the sun. The sun dries out our skin and long periods spent in the sun can result in dry feet.

How to treat dry feet

In most cases, dry feet are not a threatening condition and do not require a visit to the doctor, but more severe cases that cause a lot of pain may necessitate it. If you are experiencing dry skin on your feet or cracking heels, there are a few daily steps that you can take to ensure that your feet are moisturized and help to reduce the symptoms. 

Treating dry feet starts with treating the underlying conditions that are causing it in the first place. For some, it is as simple as drinking more water and applying lotion daily. Others must take a more determined approach.

  • Apply lotion several times per day, especially after bathing. Applying lotion is the most straightforward way to moisturize your feet. Apply lotion to the area several times per day, making sure to apply lotion after activities that may dry the feet out, such as showering.
  • Drink enough water. Most people simply do not drink enough water. It is recommended that men drink 15 cups of water and women drink 11 cups per day. If you are experiencing dry feet, try increasing your daily water intake.
  • Use moisturizing soaps when bathing. Non-moisturizing soap can actually dry out your skin. If you use non-moisturizing soaps and are noticing a problem with dry feet, make the switch to moisturizing soap and see if it makes a difference.
  • Soak feet in lemon juice. It might sound silly, but soaking your feet in lemon juice really works! It is a mild acid that can help to dissolve dead skin, which can then be easily removed using a brush. Wait for cuts and open sores to heal before using lemon juice.

Reducing the effects of dry feet is all about effort. For those with severe dry feet, reach out to the professionals at Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment and put together a plan for treating your dry feet. Call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact us online.

Tags: foot health,, foot care,, dry feet