How to Heal Dry Skin on Your Feet

Three Methods:Using Natural RemediesUsing Professional ProductsAdjusting Your Foot Hygiene

Having dry feet can be irritating and painful. You can develop dry skin on your feet due to age, genetics, living in a dry, cold climate, standing barefoot for long periods of time, ill fitting shoes, or a medical condition like Athlete’s foot.[1] If you believe you may have a medical condition that is causing the skin on your feet to dry out, you should go see your doctor or a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. If you have dry skin due to other factors, there are natural remedies and professional products you can try to relieve dry, irritated skin on your feet.

Method 1
Using Natural Remedies

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    Try a sugar scrub. Sugar is a natural product that helps to remove dry skin and soften any hard or cracked skin. You can make a basic sugar scrub by combining brown or white sugar with a small amount of olive oil and an oil extract. You can also add essential oils to the mixture if you want so your feet end up soft and smelling good.[2]
    • To make a sugar scrub, combine ⅔ cup granulated white sugar, ⅓ cup packed brown sugar, and ½ cup olive oil in a mason jar. You can also add one tablespoon vanilla extract to give the scrub a vanilla scent.
    • You can make a soothing peppermint foot scrub by combining 1 cup of Epsom salt, ¼ cup olive oil or almond oil, and 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil in a mason jar.[3]
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    Do a weekly foot soak. Soaking your feet will help to hydrate and soften any dead skin. You should try to follow a foot soak with a good scrub with a pumice stone to help remove dry skin and leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
    • Avoid soaking your feet in Epsom salt, as it can end up drying out your feet more. Instead, add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak your feet in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes.[4]
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    Use a pumice stone after a shower or bath. A pumice stone is made of volcanic rock and is useful for removing dead skin on your body, including your feet. Run a warm bath and add a small amount of Epsom salt to the water. Let your feet soak for several minutes and then rub them with a pumice stone. The water epsom salt bath will help to loosen up the dead skin, making it easier to remove.[5]
    • Follow this foot scrubbing routine every night or several times a week. Using a pumice stone on a consistent basis will also allow any foot moisturizers you are using to penetrate your skin and soften hard or cracked skin on your feet.
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    Apply coconut oil or olive oil to your feet. Use an all natural moisturizer to sooth and soften your feet. Avoid creams that contain alcohol, as alcohol can dry and irritate your skin. You can also use Vaseline, or cocoa butter to moisturize your feet.
    • Apply a generous layer of coconut oil or olive oil to your feet at night before bed and then wear socks to seal in the moisture and to keep your feet from drying out in the night.[6]

Method 2
Using Professional Products

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    Use heel balm. Heel balm can come in a container or in stick form and will help to moisturize your dry and cracked heels. Put it on in the morning to increase the elasticity of the skin on your heels before you start to walk around and move for the day and then put it on again at night to hydrate your feet while you sleep.[7]
    • You may find heel balm to be slippery on your heels, especially when you move around during the day in shoes without socks. If so, start with a small amount of heel balm on the rims of your heels and on any cracked areas.
    • If you don’t want to get heel balm on your hands, you can use a heel balm stick for easy application.
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    Buy a battery powered foot file. These foot files act like power sanders for your feet and are great for removing dry, dead skin. You simply hold the foot file in your hand and run it over your feet, preferably in the bathtub so the dry skin does not end up all over your bathroom. Wash away the powdery foot dust with water once you are done using the foot file. Try to get into the habit of using the foot file twice a week.[8]
    • Most battery powered foot files are $30-$40USD. They are a good option if you are looking for a quick and fast way to remove dry skin on your feet.
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    Ask your doctor about medicated foot cream and ointment. Though home remedies can help remove dry skin and prevent foot irritation, your doctor may be able to recommend over the counter foot creams or medicated ointments to speed up the healing of your dry skin.[9]
    • There are many over the counter foot creams that can help relieve dry skin on your feet. Your doctor may also prescribe a stronger cream or ointment, depending on the severity of your dry skin.
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    Talk to your doctor if you suspect you have Athlete’s foot or eczema. If you display the symptoms of Athlete’s foot, such as an irritated or burning sensation on your feet, peeling and cracked skin, and bleeding and pain, you should speak to your doctor about treatment. Your doctor will prescribe a topical, antifungal foot cream, or an antifungal drug, to help treat your Athlete’s Foot.
    • You should also check if you have symptoms of eczema on your feet, such as scaly skin, painful breaking of the skin, and possibly weeping or bleeding from the skin. Your doctor should help you determine the cause of your eczema, such as an irritant that you use when working or a substance in your shoes or socks, and prescribe a steroid cream or ointment.[10]

Method 3
Adjusting Your Foot Hygiene

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    Wash your feet every day. Hygiene plays a key role in maintaining skin integrity. Soap, although important in hygiene, can cause irritation and may not help in removing any of the dead skin caused by dryness. Instead, rinse your feet thoroughly with warm water every time you bathe in order to promote moisture. Warm water (40 to 34°C) promotes circulation and both comforts and refreshes your feet.[11]
    • Always wash the bottoms of your feet well and between your toes. You should use a washcloth to get between your toes or use a long handled sponge on your feet if you prefer not to have to bend down in the shower.
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    Dry your feet well after a shower or bath. Make sure you dry well between your toes with a towel as this will prevent the develop of infection, and reduce any odors or bacteria on your feet.[12]
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    Wear comfortable shoes that don’t restrict or rub your feet. Tight, uncomfortable shoes can cause painful foot growths and distort your toe shape. They can also irritate your feet and lead to blisters and cracked skin. Try to wear comfortable shoes that fit well on a daily basis, especially if you are always on your feet throughout the day.[13]
    • If you wear high heels, look for heels that are wide, stable, and no higher than two inches. Make sure there is enough room in your heels for your toes, as your shoes should not narrow until well past the balls of your feet. You should also alternate your heels heights regularly to prevent your Achilles tendon from shortening.
    • Avoid wearing flip flops and completely flat shoes, as they do not provide arch support. You should also avoid walking around barefoot to avoid developing flat feet. Minimize the amount of time you wear shoes with no arch support to keep your feet healthy and strong.
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    Alternate your shoes and change your socks every day. Try to alternate your shoes so you do not wear the same pair every day, even if you have two pairs of the same style. This will prevent shoe odor, and foot infections.[14]
    • You should also change your socks every day so you wear a fresh pair. This will prevent foot irritation and infections, which could trigger dry and cracked skin.
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    Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Promoting hydration is one of the best ways to keep any part of your skin healthy, including the skin on your feet. If possible, drink whenever you are thirsty--thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you are becoming dehydrated. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.[15]
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    Be cautious when getting a professional pedicure in a nail salon. Make sure the nail salon sanitizes and cleans every metal instrument before they use them on your feet and only go to a nail salon that is known for its good hygiene.[16]
    • A good nail salon can help remove dry skin from your feet, massage your feet to improve blood circulation, and moisturize your feet so they look their best.

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Categories: Feet Knees and Legs