Dry, cracked feet can make you feel uncomfortable and unattractive. And it doesn’t happen just as you age; it can be a problem for any ages. It more often occurs during the long winter months, but dry, cracked feet can creep up on you at any time of the year. The 12 Natural Remedies to Treat Dry, Cracked Feet will help you combat this problem.
Causes of Dry, Cracked Feet
Although cracked heels can occur at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults because your skin becomes drier and your gait (the way you walk) changes.
Some of the causes of dry, cracked feet are:
- Lack of moisture.
- Poor hygiene.
- Unhealthy diet.
- Use of harsh soaps.
- Being severely overweight.
- Standing or walking for many hours.
- Growing older, often accompanied by poor circulation.
- Use of footwear that is too tight or too loose.
- Wearing shoes with open heels (e.g., sandals) regularly.
- Continuous exposure to chlorinated water.
- Wearing toenail polish too long.
Medical issues, particularly in older folks, also play a role. Some of the diseases that affect the feet are:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Autonomic neuropathy (loss of nerve function)
- Contact dermatitis
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Thyroid disease
While there are many cures for dry, cracked feet at your local drug store, not all of them are natural remedies, and many are chemical laden. And we simply don’t know enough about what these unknown chemicals can do to our bodies.
A safer route is to make your own natural remedies or use natural products like coconut oil. Then you know exactly what you’re putting on your feet and skin. I’ve put together some of the best natural dry, cracked feet cures for you.
So get ready to reveal new soft, beautiful, touchable feet! But it’s more than just pretty feet. Cracked heels can pose a series foot problem, especially if you have diabetes or other health issues. If you have these problems, see your doctor.
12 Natural Remedies for Dry, Cracked Feet
Now you know some of the reasons you get dry, cracked feet. Here are some natural remedies you can make at home to treat it without medication and inexpensively.
Powerful antioxidants can do wonders for your skin, especially during the dry and cold winter days. Almonds are chock full of antioxidants, as well as vitamin E, that nourishes your skin.
Before taking a bath, massage your feet with either almond oil or almond milk (or with an almond-coconut oil or milk combo).
You can also use almonds to remove calloused and dead skin on your feet. Make an almond foot scrub for use after taking a foot bath.
Almond Foot Scrub
- Soak ¼ cup of almonds in water overnight.
- The next morning, grind them in your high-speed blender or your food processor.
- Add enough milk or yogurt to form a paste.
2. Baking Soda Foot Soak
Pure baking soda is one of the best natural products to care for our feet and to always keep them healthy and beautiful. Keep in mind, though, that baking soda and baking powder are not the same. Baking powder contains some baking soda, but it also includes a weak acid that is not good for your skin. When buying, be sure to choose baking soda, not baking powder.
Pure baking soda makes a good exfoliator, eliminates foot odor, and helps cure athlete’s foot.
Soothing Foot Soak
- Fill a foot basin or spa basin with enough warm water to cover your feet.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to the water and mix until baking soda dissolves. You can mix with a wooden spoon or your hand.
- Add some to your bath salts, if you wish (optional).
- Infuse a pleasant fragrance by adding a few drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender or tea tree), along with 1 teaspoon of oil (olive, sesame, almond, coconut). Combine the ingredients.
- Submerge your feet in the water and let soak for about half an hour.
- Take your feet out of the water and pat them dry with a towel.
After a foot soak is an excellent time to exfoliate your feet. Baking soda helps break down dead skin cells, thus making it easier to remove hardened skin, calluses, and dry skin. Remember to rub gently, not vigorously. Afterwards, your skin will be much softer to the touch.
Some exfoliating tools are pumice stones, pedicure rasps, foot files (manual or electric), or even an old toothbrush.
Baking soda is also an ideal exfoliating foot scrub.
Baking Soda Exfoliating Foot Scrub
- Wash feet, using warm water and a gentle cleanser, or better, soak feet for 20 to 30 minutes to soften harden skin and callus.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a little water.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oatmeal.
- Spread the mixture on feet in a circular motion. Using an old toothbrush to remove all the dead skin. It will leave you with beautiful, soft and pedicured feet.
Mash bananas into a pulp and apply to your heels and other affected areas. Let sit for about 10 minutes and rinse.
Overripe bananas can be put to good use by blending them into a paste and applying on your cracked feet. They will help soften and lubricate your skin.
- Blend one or two overripe bananas and half an avocado in a blender to form a thick, creamy paste.
- Apply this paste on your feet.
- Leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Wash your feet thoroughly, alternating with lukewarm and cold water.
- Use this remedy daily to prevent and treat dry and cracked heels.
4. Coconut Oil
It’s better than foot lotion and is even considered a “miracle” moisturizer for the skin. Its benefits are twofold: It helps retain hydrating water on the skin’s surface and removes dead skin cells.
Moreover, coconut oil aids in healing, fights infection, and even prevents future ingrown toenails. It provides natural SPF (sun protection factor).
It also helps strengthen tissues underneath the skin’s outer layer and has a delightful smell. And among other things, it actually helps reduce the smell of stinky feet.
It’s easy to apply – no mixing. Just scoop out about a tablespoonful and apply it to the skin. It goes a lot further than regular lotion. One tablespoonful is generally enough to cover your entire body.
Be sure to buy pure versions in natural health stores or from Amazon. Although you may find it among drugstore products, it most like will contain only small amounts of the oil mixed with other ingredients. Some products may actually contain alcohol, a known drying agent. Needless to say, alcohol can actually worsen cracked heels. Read product labels carefully.
Want a great foot scrubber? Just mix coconut oil with salt and sugar. It moisturizes while exfoliating.
Glycerin is both a moisturizer and a humectant. Thus, it’s a truly great remedy for dry, cracked .
Glycerin and Lemon Juice
- Mixture equal parts of glycerin and lemon juice.
- To scent, add a drop or two of rose water (optional).
- Smooth it over your feet.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with just plain, lukewarm water.
Apply daily for about two weeks.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt helps heal the cracks in your feet and promotes circulation (which may be particularly helpful to older folks). Plus, the magnesium in Epsom salt improves skin health and draws out toxins.
Epsom Salt Foot Bath
- Fill a foot tub with warm water.
- Add ½ cup of Epsom salt.
- Soak your feet in the Epson salt solution for 10 minutes.
- Gently rub your feet with a pumice stone (or another exfoliator) for a few minutes.
- Put your feet back in the Epsom salt soak for another 10 minutes.
- Dry your feet thoroughly and apply a coconut oil or petroleum jelly.
Repeat daily for two or three days.
Lemon juice is mildly acidic, which helps rid your feet of dead and dry skin. It also softens and beautifies your skin, as well as eliminate foot odor. Your feet will have a fresh lemon scent.
Lemon Juice Foot Bath
- Fill a foot tub with warm water.
- Mix in some lemon juice.
- Soak your feet in this solution for about 10 minutes.
- Gently scrub your feet with a soft foot brush.
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly and then apply some moisturizer (coconut oil or another oil of your choice).
For best results, repeat several times a week.
Greasy Is Good! Well, not to eat, but when it comes to moisturizing your feet, greasy applications can work wonders. Try gently rubbing petroleum jelly or oil (coconut, olive, sesame) on your feet. Then don a pair of white woolen or cotton socks to help it soak in. Socks also keep that greasy goo from getting all over your carpet or on your bed linens. Try this Lemon Juice and Greasy Goo recipe.
Lemon Juice and Greasy Goo
- At night, before bedtime, wash your feet and pat (don’t rub) them dry.
- Mix the juice from one lemon with 1 teaspoon of or coconut oil.
- Apply this mixture to your dry and cracked heels.
- Don a pair of white cotton or woolen socks. Wear all night.
Use this remedy daily for best results.
Dairy is a great natural moisturizer and will help soften up hard dry skin on your feet. The lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acid in the milk dissolve the proteins which hold together dead skin cells. Thus, the hard, dry skin becomes easier to remove. Bonus: The skin on your feet will have a lovely healthy glow.
Milk Foot Bath
- Fill a foot tub with warm water.
- Add 1 cup of whole milk.
- Soak your feet in this solution for 10-15 minutes.
- Gently exfoliate the dead skin.
Of interest, in ancient times, many stunning, elegant women – Cleopatra, Elizabeth I of England, Elisabeth of Bavaria, and others – with radiant skin took milk baths.
9. Petroleum Jelly
Another great way to clear the cracks in your feet is with petroleum jelly (otherwise known as Vaseline). You may already have some on your bathroom shelf or elsewhere in your home.
After using one of the foot baths, just apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to your heels, or wherever you have cracks in your feet. Then wear a pair of white cotton or woolen socks all night. The next morning, remove the socks and gently wash your feet. Do this daily until the problem clears up.
You can treat cracked feet with a homemade foot scrub made from oatmeal. It will help remove dead skin and also keep your feet moisturized.
Oatmeal Foot Scrub
- 1-2 tablespoons oatmeal.
- Turn oatmeal to a powder in your high-speed blender.
- Add enough jojoba oil or olive oil and hand mix to make a thick paste.
- Add a tablespoon of honey (if desired).
- Apply the paste to your feet, thicker on your heels and calluses.
- Put on a pair of white cotton or woolen socks.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse it off with cold water and pat dry your feet.
- Gently exfoliate.
- Apply a moisturizer like coconut oil.
Do this every other day until the cracks and splits in your feet are healed.
Many kinds of oils can work miracles as a moisturizer and lubricant for your neglected and overworked feet. Any of these oils can be added to any foot bath or can be applied directly to the feet. They can also be used on your entire body before a shower or bath to soften and smooth skin.
While other oils will somewhat work, these oils are superior to vegetable oil.
- Coconut oil discussed above.
- Olive oil is good for your skin, especially during the winter when the skin tends to become drier. It is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as several other minerals and natural fatty acids. It hydrates the skin, which helps keep the skin elastic and soft. Bonus: Olive oil protects the skin from free radical damage. Thus, it helps prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, which ages the skin.
- Sesame oil helps moisturize the skin, prevent infections if the cracks are deep, and encourages growth of new skin cells. Just add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil any foot bath.
12. Vinegar Soak
Feet tired? Do a vinegar soak.
But that’s not all it’s good for. The acetic acid in vinegar helps soften the skin, so exfoliation is easier. Thus, vinegar works well as a treatment for cracked feet.
Vinegar soaks also kill foot odor, which is triggered by the bacteria on your feet. And vinegar not only kills foot odor but also fights fungal infections.
And a big plus, it is inexpensive and easy to find.
Before immersing your feet in a vinegar soak, wash them thoroughly with a mild soap and water. Then relax, read a good book or watch your favorite TV show, and soak with your feet.
But don’t soak too often or too long, as it may dry out the skin on your feet even more.
Basic Vinegar Foot Soak
- In a foot tub, mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar.
- Soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Vinegar Foot Soak and Scrub
- In a foot tub, mix ½ cup of white or apple cider vinegar (organic) with 2 cups of water.
- Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for fragrance (rose, lavender).
- Soak 10 to 15 minutes
- Slough off the dead, dry skin with a pumice stone or foot scrubber.
- Wash your feet and gently pat dry. Don’t forget to dry between toes.
- Apply a moisturizer (oil or petroleum jelly).
Wash your feet before applying the paste from this recipe.
- A handful of coarse rice flour
- A few tablespoons of raw honey
- A few tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar
- One tablespoon of oil (olive, sesame, coconut – melt coconut oil before adding)
- Mix to make a thick paste.
- Wash your feet well.
- Gently massage your feet with this paste for a few minutes.
- Wash off the paste with lukewarm water.
- Repeat once or twice a week.
Some of you
If you see an open sore on your heel or foot, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. For medical facts, go here.
Let me know if you tried any of these recipes and how they worked for you.