Often due to the dry cold winter weather our feet become dry cracked or callused. This common problem can escalate from red, itchy and blotchy skin to painful cracks and calluses in the heels which in turn can lead to infections.
Unlike the rest of the skin on our body, our feet don’t have oil glands which naturally dry our feet out. In order to keep our feet from completely drying out on their own we rely on the sweat glands of our feet to provide natural skin moisturizing. Most people, especially seniors and diabetics require extra attention when it comes to foot care.
Just like the rest of our body, our skin dries out more during the winter because of the cold temperatures and the dry heat of home and office heating systems. Using non-moisturizing soap along with having very hot baths and showers also contributes to dry skin. There are also medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis and eczema which will exacerbate skin that is already dry. Other natural enemies of our feet can be age and spending too much time in the sun or walking on hot, dry surfaces.
As mentioned, there is a wide range of severity with different symptoms and remedies for each. Mild symptoms can range from itchiness and red, rough or peeling skin to calluses and cracks or fissures in our heels. Rashes are quite common, usually brought on by scratching due to the itching. When our feet get to the point of cracking, additional complications may arise. Walking can become difficult and spending time on your feet may have to be limited. More serious skin conditions may develop, such as psoriasis or dermatitis which may have to be treated with prescription creams or drugs.
If your feet are at the mild stage of dryness there are many natural ways to relieve the unpleasantness of dry feet.
You can add all sorts of things to a warm foot bath to help soften your feet and get rid of dry, dead skin through exfoliation.
Lemon juice works well because the acidity of the lemon helps dissolve the dry skin for easy removal with foot brush or loofah. Soak for 10 minutes, dry then exfoliate.
Add to your foot bath a cap full of baby shampoo along with a cup of white vinegar. Or try a few tablespoons of Epsom salts or baking soda, or a cup of milk.
A great natural moisturizer can be made by combining olive oil and lemon juice, along with a couple of drops of lavender, or which every type of essential oil you prefer. This mixture can be made by the batch and stored in a container for everyday use. Just be sure to shake it before application.
For relief while you sleep, slather on a mixture of Vaseline and lemon juice, then don a pair of socks (so you don’t stain your bedding) and leave on overnight.
You’re sitting in front of the TV, slather on a banana mash and sit with your feet up for half an hour, then rinse.
The natural healing recipe that I like best is an overnight deep moisturizer. Before bed, first soak your feet in Epsom salts, then butter up your feet with cocoa butter and wrap in a plastic bag (the ones from the produce department in your grocery store work great). You might want to also put on a pair of light socks to help keep the plastic wrap in place.You’ll see a difference the next morning, but keep doing it for 3 days in a row for best results, then whenever necessary.
If your dry feet do not improve after following these tips for a few weeks, perhaps you should consult your doctor. He/she may refer you to a podiatrist for further medical assistance. It is a podiatrist that you should see and not a dermatologist, as many people believe since podiatrists are trained for skin conditions specifically for the feet.