Wintertime can be problematic for your skin, especially the skin on your feet. In fact, cracked feet are a winter problem that many people suffer from. This ailment is characterized by dry, hard and thickened skin around the rim of the heel.
Although cracked feet can affect anyone, it is tends to be more common among elderly people, or those who suffer from eczema or diabetes.
The skin on our feet is mostly dry because there no oil glands present in that area of the body. However, overexposure to cold weather, lack of moisturizing, low humidity, certain medical conditions and prolonged standing can all lead to dry and cracked feet.
Keeping your feet crack-free this winter is easier than you think. With just a little care, you can ensure that your feet stay soft and smooth. Here are 10 great ways to keep your feet healthy this winter:
A warm water soak once a week will keep your feet crack-free throughout the year, and especially in winter. By soaking your feet, it makes it easier to remove hard skin that builds up on your feet and heels over time.
1. Add some liquid soap to a tub filled with warm water.
2. Add a handful of sea salt to it.
3. Soak your feet in this solution for about 20 minutes.
4. After soaking, use a pumice stone to gently scrub off the loosened dead skin cells.
5. Rinse your feet with clean water and pat dry with a soft towel.
6. Apply some foot cream and put on a pair of clean socks.
7. Use this remedy once a week.
2. Oil Massage
If you regularly develop dried and cracked feet, it is very important that you massage them regularly with some oil. The oil will keep the hard skin moisturized and improve blood circulation. For massaging, you can use massage oil on its own, or mix it with some other oils for added benefits.
1. At night before going to bed, wash your feet in warm water.
2. Dry thoroughly, especially between your toes.
3. Massage your feet and heels with olive, coconut, or almond oil - or a mixture of these - for 10-15 minutes.
4. Put on some clean socks and go to bed.
5. Continue to do this throughout the winter months.
3. Brown Sugar Scrub
The small granules of brown sugar work as a great scrub for your feet. It helps to scrub away any dead skin cells so that the skin on your feet remains soft and healthy. furthermore, brown sugar contains glycolic acid that can help fight off any bacterial infections.
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon juice to form a thick paste.
2. After having soaked your feet in warm water for 10 minutes, apply this paste to your feet..
3. Rub the paste around in circular motions until the sugar granules have melted away.
4. Wash your feet with warm water.
5. Repeat once a week.
Castor oil will soften and moisturize your feet - it penetrates deep into the skin and therefore it helps restore the moisture and adds softness to the skin.
1. Apply a thick layer of castor oil to your feet and cracked heels.
2. Put on some socks and leave overnight.
3. The next morning, rinse it off with lukewarm water.
4. Do this daily.
The glycerin that you have in your cabinet can do wonders in keeping your feet crack-free and soft throughout the harsh winter months.
1. Mix together equal amounts of glycerin and rose water.
2. Rub this solution on your heels and feet before going to bed at night.
3. Put on some socks and leave the solution on overnight.
4. The next morning, rinse your feet with lukewarm water.
5. Do this each day throughout the winter.
6. Paraffin Wax
If you already have cracked and sore heels then paraffin wax is just what you're after. This wax acts as a natural emollient to soften your skin. Furthermore, the heat of the wax opens up skin pores and improves circulation.
1. Melt one block of paraffin wax in a double boiler.
2. Add two tablespoons of mustard oil or coconut oil to the melted wax and mix well.
3. Allow the mixture to cool down (until a thin layer forms on the top).
4. Dip your feet in the mixture, wait 5-10 seconds and dip again. Repeat this five to six times.
5. Cover your feet with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. You can put a pair of socks on if you wish.
6. Remove the plastic and peel the wax off your skin.
7. Repeat this treatment once or twice a week.
7. Water Intake
Water intake is important for maintaining healthy cell metabolism. A dehydrated body can lead to dry skin and it cannot repair existing skin damage. If your skin isn't getting enough water, it will become tight and less resilient, which means that your feet will become more prone to cracks and fissures.
8. Fruit Packs
You can prevent and treat cracked feet with homemade fruit packs. For example, ripe bananas, avocados and papayas are considered effective home remedies for cracked and dry heels thanks to their moisturizing properties.
1. Apply the pulp of a ripe banana or avocado to the cracked parts of your heels and feet.
2. Leave for 10 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water.
3. Do this a few times a week to enjoy soft and smooth skin.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells from harmful free radicals that are produced by the body and other environmental sources. This vitamin helps repair the skin and works wonders when treating and preventing cracked feet.
10. Vitamin C
Just like vitamin E, vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals. this water-soluble vitamin is also crucial in the production of collagen, which is required for healthy skin.