Dry skin has been the most common winter woes. It is characterized by a lack of moisture in the superficial layer of the skin. Hands, arms, or legs are most commonly affected by dry skin due to several factors, such as loss of natural skin oils and lubricants, low humidity, and temperature. The best treatment for dry skin is applying emollient two to three times a day. The feet are especially vulnerable to dry and cracked skin. Some of the best natural remedies for getting rid of dry skin on the feet include:
- Heel balms: Use a heel balm or thick moisturizer twice daily to increase the elasticity of the skin on the heels. Main ingredients of heel balm that help to retain moisture in the skin include:
- Alpha hydroxy acid
- Foot soaks: Soak the foot in warm, plain, or soapy water for about 20 minutes. Next, exfoliate with a foot scrubber and apply Vaseline or Aquaphor. Slipping on a pair of socks over your moisturized feet may lock in moisture. You can create various types of soaks, which include:
- Vinegar soaks
- Epsom salt soak
- However, avoid baking soda soaks or lemon soaks because these ingredients may irritate the skin or cause dryness.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliating with a pumice stone may help to reduce the thickness of calluses. Gently move the pumice stone in a circular or sideways motion. Apply moisturizer in the end. People with diabetes or injured skin shouldn't attempt to scrub their feet with a pumice stone because it can increase the risk of infections.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil has a moisturizing effect on the skin and will keep the skin of the feet to be hydrated and protected.
- Using different types of scrub for scrubbing: Use a foot scrub with granules that would help to polish away dead skin. You can make a foot scrub by diluting two tablespoons of sea salt into equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice. Moreover, you can use:
- Supporting shoes: Take care and wear proper fitting closed shoes to relieve pressure on the feet and prevent drying or thickening of the skin.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Losing weight if you are overweight or obese would help to relieve pressure on the feet.
- Bathing: Long and hot showers should be avoided. Instead, opt for short showers with lukewarm water because it helps to preserve the skin’s essential oils.
- Diet: The inclusion of essential fatty acids in the diet may help to moisturize the feet.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Use mild soaps: Avoid using harsh soaps, as it may rip off essential oils from the skin. Instead, use mild soaps with a low fragrance such as:
- Dove soapless cleanser
- Aveeno cleanser
- Cetaphil cleanser
- Neutrogena cleanser
- Use padding: To protect feet from drying, you can use protective padding around the feet.
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Cole GW. Dry Skin. MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/article.htm
American Academy of Dermatology. How to Treat Corns and Calluses. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/injured-skin/burns/treat-corns-calluses#