Dry, cracked heels and ragged cuticles are a sandal-lover’s worst nightmare. If wearing heels or sandals is too embarrassing right now, consider some of these options to get your feet soft and smooth as quickly as possible. It’s important to take good care of your feet to avoid skin damage and embarrassing appearance. Severely cracked heels can be painful and invite infection. Making good foot care a habit can save you money and keep your feet soft, smooth and beautiful for life.
The fastest and most effective way to get rid of calluses and dry skin is to get a professional pedicure. They are usually rather inexpensive (often ranging from $15 to $50), very relaxing and the results are instant. If your feet show a lot of skin damage and dryness, it may take a few visits before you see a complete change. The pedicurist will soak your feet to soften the skin, and then exfoliate rough patches. Extremely thick calluses will be gently shaved off. Your feet will be massaged and “sealed” with a rich moisturizer. Cuticles and toenails will be neatened or trimmed. A fresh coat of nail polish makes your feet instantly sandal-ready.
Clean and Treat
Be sure to carefully wash your feet every time you shower. Use an antibacterial soap to prevent infection. If your feet are abnormally dry and scaly, be sure to check for a fungal infection. Most antifungal creams are available over the counter, so you can treat your condition quickly and discreetly. Scrubbing and moisturizing skin that is actually infected can make the condition worse, not better. It’s best to start with clean skin. Fully treat any infections before beginning an exfoliation routine.
You can purchase a pumice stone at a drug store or supermarket. Use it daily in the shower to remove rough skin a little at a time. Lather feet with an antibacterial soap and scrub lightly with the pumice stone. Use the stone on thick areas of skin only, such as heels and the balls of your feet. Pumice can tear thin, delicate skin and cause irritation. There are also commercially available razors that shave off thick calluses, but use extreme caution with these tools. This task is best left to an experienced pedicurist.
Moisturize and Maintain
After exfoliating, seal your feet with a rich moisturizer. There are creams available at the drug store especially for dry, cracked heels. They usually use petroleum jelly as a skin protector. Steer away from those containing mineral oil, as it can rob skin of natural oils over time. Apply a liberal amount of ultra-moisturizing cream on clean, towel-dried feet just before bed. Put on a breathable pair of socks. The socks will help the skin absorb the moisturizing cream without staying too wet all night. Avoid sweaty feet with breathable socks, and rotate shoes every day. This lets each pair of shoes dry out completely before you wear them again.