The Best Foot Soak for Dry Feet

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Take a few moments to relax while soaking your feet.
Take a few moments to relax while soaking your feet. (Image: Pinnacle Pictures/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you've ever suffered from a bout with dry feet then you know this is a condition that is not only unattractive, but also one that can be painful. Skin tends to be more prone to dryness in winter months when heaters are cranked up and sap the moisture from the air. Dry feet can also occur from heredity or from the diminishing of natural skin oils as you age. Whatever the cause of your foot dryness, sometimes a pampering foot soak can give relief.

Warm Water

The most important part of a successful soaking for dry feet is to use warm water rather than hot. As soothing as hot water can feel, this actually adds to dryness and can sabotage your intentions. Immerse your feet in a tub large enough to fit both feet comfortably and add enough water to completely cover your feet, up to at least ankle level.

Mild Soap

Mix in enough soap to swish it around and create a bubbly consistency to the water. Use a mild soap that is soap-free, unscented cleanser instead of a soap with more harsh ingredients.

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts can be purchased at almost any grocery or drug store. A half cup of these crystals can be added to your foot soak to help ease the itching dry skin can cause.

Duration

Contrary to what may seem logical, a lengthy soak is not needed to add moisture to dry feet. Even warm water can begin to strip your feet of natural oils. Web MD suggests that soaking dry feet be limited to a five- or 10-minute session.

Exfoliation

While the skin on your feet is still soft, you should use a pumice stone or loofah sponge to gently remove rough, dead skin that has been loosened by soaking.

Moisturization

It is important to apply topical moisturizers while the skin on your feet is still moist. Use a towel to pat your feet dry, leaving them just slightly damp. Apply a moisturizing cream, lotion or ointment such as petroleum jelly. Moisturizer should be applied within three to five minutes of soaking in order to lock in moisture. For extreme dryness, Web MD suggests you follow up moisturizing with wrapping your feet in plastic wrap to basically "marinate" them with moisture. Follow this up by placing a pair of snug-fitting socks over the plastic wrap and wearing the items all night. Change in your feet should be apparent within three nights.

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