Dry, cracked feet can be a painful condition of which there are many causes. Factors such as poor hydration, diet or health issues (diabetes and obesity) as well as life style choices e.g. going barefoot, prolonged standing, wearing improper shoes, living in a dry climate, and exposure to cold can all contribute to skin dehydration causing the skin to thicken and form calluses; the skin then becomes resistant to moisture and thus more likely to peel and crack. There are however easy at home treatments that can help heal the skin as well as keep it soft and supple for the future.
Aromatherapy for Dry Cracked Feet
Exfoliate Your Feet
Dry skin causes feet, particularly heels and the ball of your foot to crack. Remove dead and dry skin with regular exfoliation. Baking soda makes a great natural and economical exfoliant that also works to draw impurities from your skin. Pour about two tablespoons of baking soda into your hand and add enough warm water to form a paste. Massage onto your feet in circular motions, a couple of minutes for each foot, and then rinse in cool water. Make sure to apply a deep-moisturizing oil or cream following exfoliation.
- 1 cup dry oatmeal
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil (analgesic, astringent, anesthetic)
- This is a dry scrub, so all you need to do is to mix all the ingredients together and massage the scrub into your feet. It will help exfoliate and get rid of hard, dead skin.
Regular Foot Baths to Soothe and Soften Dry Skin
Foot Bath Recipe #1
- Fill up a basin with warm water and add about three or four tablespoons of oatmeal.
- Add a few drops of lavender or rose essential oil for added moisturizing and skin-softening benefits.
- Place the basin in a comfortable area and soak your feet for about 30 minutes.
- Pat your feet dry and gently massage a all natural moisturizer to your feet, paying special attention to your heels.
- Treat your feet to a foot bath about twice a week for best results.
Foot Bath Recipe #2
- 2 gallons warm water
- 2 drops patchouli essential oil (cicatrisant (skin regenerator) & deodorizer)
- 4 drops lavender essential oil (calming, anti-inflammatory, cicatrisant (skin regeneration))
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil (antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial)
- 2 drops Rose Dilute essential oil (moisturizes dry skin, helps with infections and reduces inflammation)
- Add the oils to the warm water and soak your feet for 15-30 minutes. The essential oils work well for problems like athlete’s foot and conditions such as dry, cracked feet. The bath helps soften and soothe the skin, while the antiseptic qualities can help guard against infection.
Moisturizing the skin also is an important part of dealing with dry, cracked feet, so finding a natural way to add much-needed moisture to the skin is a step you shouldn’t skip. Some natural moisturizers include sunflower, sesame, olive, jojojba, rosehip, tamanu, coconut, calendula oils or all natural creams and lotions. Apply the lotion/oil after you’ve scrubbed and soaked your feet, and then put on cotton socks. Leaving the oil on overnight will help it penetrate to moisturize and heal the skin. Follow this schedule for 3-5 days or till your cracked heals are better.
Rich Moisturizing Recipe #2
- 1 oz. All Natural lotion or cream
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
- 10 drops Benzoin essential oil (anti-inflammatory, cicatrisant, antiseptic)
- 10 drops Lavender essential oil (cicatrisant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal)
- 5 drops Myrrh essential oil (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cicatrisant)
- 6 drops Geranium essential oil (analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal)
- 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil (antifungal, antiviral, analgesic)
- Mix well. Use daily on feet/hands, especially after a bath or shower. If possible wear cotton socks after application.
- Drink 2 litres of water daily – dehydration may be a factor
- Regular exercise helps to stimulate your circulation and aids our general health and skin health accordingly.
- Look at your diet. This issue is often an indication of nutritional deficiencies, especially of:
Essential Fatty Acids (found in nuts and seeds especially cracked/hulled linseed, sesame seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, oily fish, avocado and cold pressed olive oil and other rich, dark colored vegetable oils
Vitamin E which is vital for smooth pliable skin (found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains)
Vitamin A which helps cell division and the balanced ”sloughing off” of dead skin cells to help maintain healthy skin (found in carrots, goats milk, green vegetables and orange fruits)
Vitamin C and Zinc can also be deficient if the cracking is severe and persistent. Vitamin C can be found in fresh fruit (especially berries) and vegetables, whilst Zinc is found shellfish, sardines, beef, game, offal and hard cheese.
- Warm or tepid showers and baths is recommended; as hot water can dry out the skin.
- Use only natural bath and body products; avoid harsh, synthetic and perfumed/fragranced products.
- Remove dry/dead skin regularly with a foot file, to help prevent build up of dead skin which will crack more easily.
- Add ¼ – ½ cup of Epsom or Dead Sea Salt to your bath (or ¼ cup to a foot bath) to help prevent fungal infection where cracks are already present
- Regularly use of essential oils in a base moisturizing cream to help prevent cracked heels, or in an oil blend if dry skin is severe or when cracks are already present