How To Treat Dry, Cracked Skin On Your Feet
Your skin condition reflects your overall wellbeing. Your dietary regimen, exercise routine, and acute or chronic health conditions can positively or negatively influence your skin's health.
For example, if you have diabetes, maintaining your feet' skin's health is essential to reduce the risk of infections. Your skin's top layer, the epidermis, has a varied thickness over different body parts.
A study published in Medscape highlights that the skin is the thinnest over the eyelid. It has a thickness of no more than 1mm or 2/1,000 of an inch. On the other hand, some body areas, such as your feet, soles, or heels, exposed to increased friction or pressure have thicker skin.
The epidermis is the primary protective layer and acts as the first line of defense against external pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, pollutants, and allergens. The epidermis sheds cells and generates new ones to maintain the barrier and keep the skin healthy and intact.
Not maintaining your feet's skin can lead to various problems, including dry, cracked skin. Remember, routine foot care is an excellent way to prevent potential issues, and the care starts with keeping your feet' skin healthy.
Today's article will discuss the causes of dry, cracked skin on the feet and explain the most effective remedies, such as foot soaks, vegan skincare, body massage oil, moisturization, exfoliation, etc. Read on!
Causes of Dry, Cracked Skin on Your Feet
The epidermis, or the outer layer of your skin, contains cells that are an integral part of the immune system. These cells recognize foreign or external pathogens and prevent them from penetrating the body.
Your body's defense mechanisms ensure your skin receive enough blood and nutrients to perform its functions appropriately. Thus, your skin protects your body from external pollutants, viruses, and bacteria.
Your body also richly supplies the skin with nerves to detect stimuli like heat, cold, moisture, humidity, discomfort, inflammation, and pain. Let us discuss the common causes of dry, cracked skin on your feet.
Harsh weather conditions during the winter season can cause your skin's natural oil to evaporate. If you live in a cold climate, you will notice that your feet are naturally drier than other body areas. So, your feet can severely suffer during cold winter, resulting in dryness, soreness, or crackedness.
According to Feet First Clinic, indoor heating and outdoor dry air during winter can cause cracked skin on your feet or heels. Not caring for your feet can worsen the situation over time and lead to heel fissures.
A heel fissure is a crack that develops from skin dryness, leading to severe soreness, bruising, inflammation, pain, and bleeding. Deep fissures create a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to penetrate the skin and cause infections.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition, and people with this endocrine disorder are more vulnerable to having dry, cracked skin on their feet. For example, when your feet sweat, the natural oils in your body increase moisture levels and keep the skin soft and supple.
However, if you have diabetes, nerves that control moisture levels or sweating undergo damage, preventing your feet from maintaining natural oils for lubrication.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are more likely to get dry and cracked skin. Over time, these cracks turn deep and develop fissures, which are challenging to heal. Fissures can cause discomfort, soreness, and pain. Once the skin is open, it becomes more vulnerable to infections, leading to severe complications.
A 2019 research study published on NCBI highlights that obesity can severely affect the skin barrier function. It affects the sebaceous glands in your skin and slows down sebum production. It also impacts the sweat glands and prevents the skin from maintaining optimal moisture levels.
The same study shows that obesity can cause blood flow issues, preventing nutrients from reaching the skin cells and lymph channels under the epidermis. As a result, your skin does not synthesize new collagen and elastin proteins and suffers from slow wound healing.
Moreover, obesity makes you more likely to have dry, cracked feet, soles, or heels due to increased pressure on the heel pad. Bear in mind that dry skin can't handle the added stress and causes cracks.
Soaps and Body Washes
Soaps, lotions, ointments, and other skincare products contain harsh chemicals and substances that strip moisture from your skin. Most soaps and creams have a chemical formula that removes oil from the epidermal layer of your skin and increases the risk of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema.
In addition, body wash products that contain harmful chemicals or irritants can affect the natural sebum oil production and strip moisture from your feet' skin. Failing to wash excess soap off your feet can also lead to these issues. Some harmful ingredients in soaps and body wash products are:
A lack of vegetables and fruits in your diet can take a massive toll on your skin's health. These food items are rich sources of essential nutrients, including vitamins, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and minerals that can slow down signs of aging and promote healthy skin cell production or regeneration.
According to WebMD, people with nutritional deficiencies, such as omega-3s, proteins, selenium, vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, magnesium, potassium, etc., are more vulnerable to dry skin. Because your feet are more exposed to environmental or weather conditions, the lack of nutrients in your blood or skin can lead to dry, cracked skin on your feet.
Remedies for Dry, Cracked Feet
Various treatment options exist for dry, cracked feet. For example, you can use topical ointments, lotions, and soaps with natural ingredients to maintain moisture levels in your feet' skin.
However, most skincare products available on the market contain harmful chemicals along with natural ingredients. So, the combined chemical + natural ingredient formula can do more harm than good to your skin. Therefore, we recommend buying vegan skincare products because they don't contain harsh chemicals or animal-based ingredients.
Remember, not all products are vegan, even if they claim to be, so look for a leaping bunny logo on the packaging before purchasing a vegan skincare product like body massage oil or exfoliator, moisturizer, or scrub. Let us now discuss the best ways to prevent or treat dry, cracked skin on your feet.
Invest in Quality Footwear
Purchasing and wearing quality footwear is directly proportional to protecting your feet from external pollutants and pathogens. When choosing shoes, look for a product that aligns with your exercise or physical activity/regimen.
For example, select a pair of shoes with sole cushions if you play sports, walk, or run daily. You can also look for shock-absorbing features to ensure extra comfort. Remember, don't wear the same shoes daily because they can cause foot deformities.
Choose a pair of shoes that fits accurately and avoid tight-fitting footwear. Wide and comfortable footwear is more pleasant, comfortable, and supportive for your feet. Moreover, choose socks made of natural materials, such as wool or cotton.
Synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, can suffocate your feet and prevent them from breathing correctly. Socks made of natural ingredients have good ventilation and prevent extra moisture or dryness.
The foot soak is an excellent way to decrease roughness, prevent or treat dryness, and leave your feet softer. When you soak your feet in sea salts or Epsom salts, the natural ingredients/substances exfoliate your feet and remove dead cells from the surface. You can use different foot soaks to clean your feet, reduce foul odor, treat dryness, and make them soft.
Soaking feet in water and sea salt can stimulate blood to circulate, relieve stiffness in feet joints, ease muscle cramps, and soothe achy and overworked feet. However, sea salt also has scrubby properties that exfoliate your feet' skin and open pores for deep cleansing and increased blood flow.
The purpose is to ensure your feet' skin absorbs moisturizers or streamline sebum oil production for hydration. Hebe Botanica Sea Soak is a 100% natural product with organic/plant-based ingredients, such as lavender extract, magnesium sulfate, dried petals, rose extract, Eucalyptus Globulus leaf extract, and essential oils.
The product can treat dry, cracked skin on your feet and maintain optimal moisture levels. Hebe Botanica is a leaping bunny-certified company that offers 100% plant-based and vegan skincare products at affordable prices.
Adding baking soda to warm water and soaking your feet in the mixture can exfoliate the skin, prevent dryness, ease itching, and cleanse your feet. We suggest adding four to five tablespoons of soda to warm water in a basin.
Vinegar has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties. Not only does it kill microbes, but it also reduces foot odor. Mix one part vinegar and two parts water in a basin and soak your feet for a few hours to achieve your goals.
Olive oil contains numerous essential nutrients, including antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in your body and eases dryness on your feet. Olive oil also moisturizes and softens your skin. You can add a few drops of olive oil to lukewarm water for a foot soak.
The skin is your body's largest organ, preventing external pathogens from penetrating the epidermal layer. Epsom salt is one of the best and most natural remedies for dry, cracked skin and muscle aches on your feet.
Epsom salt has a crystallized structure and contains magnesium sulfate. People have been using Epsom salt for hundreds of years to improve their skin conditions and ailments, including dryness, dullness, discomfort, inflammation, and pain.
· Exfoliates the Skin
According to Healthline, soaking feet in a mixture of Epsom salt and water can remove dead cells from your skin's epidermal layer. Epsom salt has excellent exfoliation properties and can remove dry/dull skin, increase blood flow, and improve your skin's health.
· Detoxifies the Skin
WebMD reports that toxins accumulated in the body due to a sedentary lifestyle or bad habits like smoking, alcoholism, and lack of exercise can speed up skin aging, causing fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and dry, cracked feet.
Epsom salt is one of the best feet-soaking ingredients with excellent detoxifying and pain-relieving properties. It contains magnesium, an essential nutrient that decreases discomfort, swelling, and inflammation.
It also contains sulfur and oxygen that detoxifies your skin and remove toxins from your body. As a result, your skin restores its normal function and balances the sebum oil production to maintain moisture or hydration.
Use a Pumice Stone
According to NDTV, a pumice stone is another natural remedy to remove dead cells from the skin of your feet. It treats hard calluses, reduces friction, and removes the upper layer to improve dry, cracked heels. A pumice stone cleans and preps your feet for a moisturizing treatment.
We recommend soaking your feet in warm, soapy water for five to ten minutes. Wet the pumice stone after your feet softens. Rub the stone on a wet callus using gentle pressure for a few minutes to remove dead cells.
Apply a Body Massage Oil
The primary purpose of a body massage oil is to lubricate the skin and nourish the deeper layers to promote moisturization. Although you can find a wide range of body massage oil products on the market, we recommend Hebe Botanica's "Restorative Omega Body Oil," a product that contains omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 and other plant-based ingredients, such as:
Apricot Kernel Oil nourishes your skin and decreases the risk of dryness. You can apply the body oil on any part of your skin to improve the tone and radiance and reduce the signs of aging. It has excellent antioxidant effects and antibacterial properties, decreasing the risk of infections for people with dry, cracked feet.
Rosehip Seed Oil: It is another ingredient found in Leaping Bunny-certified Restorative Omega Body Oil, improving your skin's texture, softening the rough and callused skin on your feet, and leaving them hydrated velvety smooth.
Omega Oils: The product is packed with essential omega oils that fight dry, itchy, and red skin on your feet and prevent the risk of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Omega oils improve your feet's skin barrier function, lock in moisture, and eliminate pollutants and irritants.
Passionfruit Oil: Another powerful ingredient in Hebe Botanica body massage oil that protects the skin from external pathogens and fights free radicals at intercellular and intracellular levels. The best thing about this ingredient is that it does not cause greasy textures on your feet.
Macadamia Seed Oil: It is a powerful plant-based ingredient found in Hebe Botanica's body massage oil and can improve your feet's skin. It is a rich source of monosaturated fats and other essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, to soften your feet and allow the skin to absorb moisture without feeling greasy.
Use a Vegan Skincare Moisturizer
Research shows that nerves control oil and sweat glands in your feet' skin. However, when these nerves undergo damage or do not receive appropriate nutrients or blood flow, they can cause problems, such as dry, cracked skin.
The Ethical Elephant states that vegan skincare products are an excellent way to improve your skin and prevent it from various conditions. Vegan skincare products do not have harmful chemicals sourced from animals. In fact, these products have plant-based or organic ingredients.
Using plant-based ingredients in your body moisturizer is an excellent way to hydrate your feet. Buying and using vegan skincare products, including a moisturizer, means you care for animals. However, you must purchase a moisturizer certified by the Leaping Bunny.
Remember, the Leaping Bunny is a globally recognized company that ensures consumers use skincare products with no harsh chemicals sourced from animals. At the same time, a product that contains a Leaping Bunny logo means the company has not tested it on animals.
Therefore, a vegan moisturizer can benefit your skin. Look for ingredients like ginger, mint, aloe vera, and garlic because they have excellent healing properties to treat dry, cracked skin on your feet.
In addition, a vegan moisturizer is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that streamline skin functions. Ginger and garlic are plant-based ingredients found in a moisturizer with excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Dry skin on your feet can lead to severe problems, such as fissures, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Not only will your feet look ugly, but you will also feel discomfort, inflammation, and pain.
Although you can take medications to alleviate discomfort and pain, treating dry, cracked skin on your feet requires careful planning and preparation. For instance, you must use vegan skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, moisturizers, exfoliators, or body massage oils, to treat dry, cracked skin on your feet.
Hebe Botanica is a Leaping Bunny-certified company that sells premium-quality and 100% vegan skincare products at affordable prices. Check out our collection of vegan skincare products, or contact us for more information!