feet image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

When the skin on your feet dries out, it can lead to painful cracking and peeling, commonly referred to as heel fissures. The openings in the skin allow easy access for bacteria that can cause infections, making the discomfort worse. If your feet are cracking and peeling, you may be looking for a natural way to treat both the condition and the discomfort that comes with it. With a few simple remedies, you can be on your way to smoother skin and a lot less pain.

Moisturize your feet often. Apply a moisturizing cream or petroleum jelly to help add and lock in moisture, and cover your feet with soft cotton socks. This should be done throughout the day as well as right before you go to bed. Vegetable oil can be used in place of lotion for the same result. Stay consistent with this and do this daily to see improvement.

Wash your feet daily with an antibacterial soap to help clean any bacteria out of the cracks in your skin, to prevent painful infections. Dry your feet with a soft, clean, dry towel by patting gently.

Use a pumice stone to gently scrub away dead skin cells and minimize areas of hardened skin that could potentially crack. Do this when your feet are dry, before you wash or moisturize. If you experience any pain, stop immediately.

Soak your feet in plain undiluted lemon juice to help soften the skin. You can do this as often as you like, but be sure that you do it at least once a week for 10 minutes at a time to see results.

Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dry out your skin, making the condition worse. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.

Tip

If the dry skin persists regardless of your attempts to get rid of it, consult your doctor or podiatrist about possible causes and treatments.

Warning

Do not pick at the dead skin or attempt to cut it away with scissors. This may result in taking off too much, which can be even more painful and subject you to a greater risk for infection.

About the Author

Melynda Sorrels

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.