Wintertime can pose problems for your skin, especially on your feet. In fact, cracked feet is a common winter problem that many people suffer from. It is characterized by dry, hard and thickened skin around the rim of the heel.
Though the problem of cracked feet can affect anyone, it is more common among people who have eczema, diabetes, or the elderly.
The skin on our feet is usually dry, as there are no oil glands in the skin on the feet. Overexposure to cold weather, lack of moisturizing, low humidity, prolonged standing, and certain medical conditions can cause dry and cracked feet.
However, keeping your feet crack-free this winter is surprisingly easy. With a little care, you can pamper your feet and keep them soft and smooth.
Here are the top 10 tips to keep your feet healthy this winter.
1. Warm Water Soak
A warm water soak once a week can keep your feet healthy and crack-free year-round and especially in the winter. This type of regular soak makes it easy to get rid of the hard skin that otherwise builds up on your feet and heels.
- Mix some mild liquid soap in a foot tub filled with warm water.
- Add a handful of sea salt to it.
- Soak your feet in this warm, soapy water for about 20 minutes.
- After soaking your feet, use a pumice stone to gently scrub off the loosened dead skin cells.
- Rinse off your feet with clean water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply some foot cream and wear a pair of clean cotton socks.
- Use this remedy once a week.
2. Oil Massage
If you have a tendency to develop dry and cracked feet, it is very important that you regularly massage them with some oil.
An oil massage will keep the hard skin moisturized and also improve blood circulation to your feet.
For massaging, you can use any massage oil alone or mix some oils together to get added benefits.
- At night before going to bed, wash your feet with warm water.
- Pat dry thoroughly, especially between your toes.
- Massage your feet and heels with olive, coconut or almond oil – or a mixture of these oils – for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put on clean socks and go to sleep.
- Continue this throughout the winter months.
3. Brown Sugar Scrub
The small and gentle granules of brown sugar work as a great scrub for your feet. It can easily scrub away the dead skin cells so that the skin on your feet remains healthy and soft.
In addition, brown sugar contains glycolic acid that can fight off bacterial infections.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice to form a thick paste.
- After soaking your feet in warm water for 10 minutes, apply this paste on your feet.
- Rub the paste around in circular motions until the sugar granules melt away.
- Wash your feet with warm water.
- Repeat once a week.
The glycerin that you have in your cabinet can do wonders in keeping your feet soft and crack-free throughout the winter months.
Due to its moisturizing and humectant properties, glycerin works as a great remedy to prevent cracks on the feet.
- Mix together equal amounts of glycerin and rose water.
- Rub it on your heels and feet before going to bed at night.
- Wear socks and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, rinse your feet with lukewarm water.
- Do this daily during the winter months.
5. Paraffin Wax
Paraffin wax is highly effective if you already have cracked and painful heels. It works as a natural emollient to soften your skin. Plus, the heat of the wax helps open skin pores and improves blood circulation.
- Melt one block of paraffin wax in a double boiler.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of mustard oil or coconut oil into the melted wax.
- Allow the mixture to cool until a thin layer forms on the top.
- Dip your feet in the mixture, wait 5 to 10 seconds and dip again. Do this 5 or 6 times.
- Cover your feet with plastic wrap and leave it on for 30 minutes. You can also put on a apair of socks.
- Finally, remove the plastic and peel the wax off your skin.
- Repeat this treatment 1 or 2 times a week.
Note: Never dip your feet in the paraffin wax mixture when it is hot. This treatment is not recommended for those who are diabetic or have poor circulation.
6. Fruit Packs
You can prevent as well as treat cracked feet with homemade fruit packs. For instance, ripe bananas, avocados and papayas are considered effective home remedies for cracked and dry heels, thanks to their moisturizing properties.
- Apply the pulp of a ripe banana or avocado on the cracked parts of your heels and feet. Keep it on for about 10 minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this a few times a week to enjoy soft and smooth skin.
- You can also make a pack with equal amounts of ripe banana and avocado. Add a little coconut oil and honey. Apply the pack to your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, rinse it off using lukewarm water. Do this once a week.