Feet; they support us for a lifetime, so why are we so neglectful of their health? I like to think I take care of my skin and hair fairly well, but it always seems that my feet are out of sight out of mind. Enter my dry and cracked feet becoming a real problem. While I have inadvertently been ignoring my feet, my feet have been retaliating. It’s a vicious cycle because I know my feet are cracked and in turn absolutely refuse to touch them. Unfortunately this behavior has only perpetuated my problem to the point where something had to be done.
It started with me noticing that the cracks had a lot of blackness in them. I attributed this to my constant use of flip flops or no shoes at all and simply washed them. Next I noticed when I was asleep without socks on the dry skin would catch on the sheets or scratch the soft skin on my legs. I dealt with this by wearing socks to simply ignore the problem because I HATE touching my feet. The final straw was when they started to hurt, and I don’t mean aching from walking or standing all day. This dull ache was not something that could be fixed by warm water and a foot massage, it was my skin telling me, “That’s enough; it’s time to take care of me.” So about a week ago I sprang into action!
My first step was to try and get the blackness out of my feet; this entailed a lot of scrubbing. I have this fantastic tool by Conair called True Glow Sonic Pedicure Brush and it came with a pumice-esque attachment, one fine and one course, and a foot brush. It works by vibrating allowing for your skin to exfoliate and clean. I had originally used a foot scrub as the conditioner on the brush heads but I have actually just started to use hair conditioner for extra moisture.
Removing the dead skin is also important or it will just stay there and prevent healing. For some a pumice stone itself will work wonders but for others a little more work is needed. Our very own Lea Woodford recommends foot files like this sold on Amazon. There is also a combination of mouth wash, vinegar and some hot water that will work to make dead skin fall off of your feet.
When the dry skin was mostly gone my next step, naturally, was to smother my feet in petroleum jelly. This is probably strange but it works better than anything I have tried. I apply a thick layer to the bottom and sides of my feet, cover them with some cotton socks, and go to bed. The next morning they significantly improve in look and feel. This is not a cure-all however, maintenance must be done.
After the hard part of getting your cracks healed and dead skin off, moisturize with your favorite lotion. I use a natural goat milk foot lotion from a local place in Prescott. I find that natural remedies and un-scented products work best. There are also soaks you can make at home just to keep things comfortable. My best advice is, don’t ignore your feet because they will take revenge. It requires a little extra time out of the day to keep them happy and out of pain, plus when summer comes you won’t have to hide your feet.