Dry, cracked feet and heels are not something that can be solved by a quick pedicure. In reality, the problem of calloused, dry and even cracking or bleeding heels is something that has to be addressed daily to be cured — and even then, it’s not always easy.
As board-certified dermatologist Dendy EngelmanAccording to Dr. John, the best course of action is for dry and cracked heels to be treated immediately.
“Once the crack has closed, you can use regular (but thick) creams on your heels. Begin by applying a rich moisturizer to your feet, let it soak in for a few moments, then apply a thick sock to trap the moisture in and Avoid further damage while your skin heals,” Engelman explained. “I recommend repeating this every evening so your skin can heal overnight while you sleep.”
If your feet are dry but they aren’t quite cracked yet, Engelman says, it’s much easier to preventYou can’t fix the damage.
“Daily moisturizing is key to maintaining soft, healthy skin on the heels,” Engelman said, noting that urea is a great ingredient to look for in a foot cream. “It is an intensely hydrating, multipurpose ingredient found in ointments, moisturizers and other topical balms and salves.”
These 11 products will help you avoid spending hours searching through hundreds of different foot creams to find one that suits your needs. You don’t need to make an appointment.
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Lano Dry Skin Cream
Engelman highly recommends this cream. It contains all-natural vitamin E, Manuka honey, and lanolin. This cream soothes and repairs the skin. “Apply a generous amount to dry areas, then cover with a sock to allow the product to really absorb,” Engelman said.
Get it from Neiman Marcus for $18.
Aquaphor healing ointment
If you have painful, cracked heels that are bleeding or exposed, then it’s important to make sure you address those before moving on to general dryness. Engelman recommends rich, occlusive moisturizing creams to address cracks. “First, clean the area with soap and water, then apply a healing ointment like Aquaphor, and protect the skin with a Band-Aid/bandage and socks,” Engelman explained, noting that after this step you can start applying a moisturizer like Lano Golden Dry Skin Salve each night.
Get it from Amazon for $13.74.
Soak your feet in pure Northwest tea tree oil
“Foot soaks can be a great pre-exfoliation step, as long as you do Not have any open cracks or injuries,” Engelman said, suggesting Purely Northwest tea tree oil foot soak, which contains antibacterial tea tree oil to hydrate and soften the skin. “After using a foot soak, buff away dead skin cells and calluses with a foot file that has disposable sides. Move the file vertically across dry skin, being sure not to over-exfoliate.”
Pro tip: Engelman said notYou should not use a pumice for your feet. It can collect bacteria quickly and make it less safe than using a foot file that has disposable sides.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
Aveeno’s Repairing CICA foot mask
The same principle applies to foot masks as face masks. Although they won’t transform your skin overnight but can provide some moisture, “Foot masks can also be a great way to get moisturizing ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin barrier,” Engelman explained, suggesting Aveeno’s Repairing CICA Foot Mask as an intensely hydrating mask for dry skin.
Get it from Amazon for $8.88.
You’ve probably heard that humidifiers are a game changer for skin in the drier months, and this applies to the skin on your feet, too.
“Running a humidifier while you sleep is also a great way to keep skin hydrated when you aren’t able to replenish moisture by drinking water,” Engelman said, noting that Canopy’s humidifier is easy to use and releases pure, clean hydration rather than mist and water, which can carry allergens.
Get it from Nordstrom for $150.
Gehwol’s Soft Feet cream
According to licensed medical pedicurists, and owners of Medi Pedi NYC
Marcela Correa says that people suffering from cracked, hardened heels should search for products that contain both urea and salicylic acids. “These ingredients help exfoliate and remove dead skin while softening and moisturizing your feet,” Correa said. “Using a foot cream like Gehwol’s Soft Feet Cream, which contains urea, is great for maintaining soft feet and preventing dry cracked heels.”
Get it from Amazon for $28.
Silicone heel protectors
Correa suggests that you use a silicon heel protector as a targeted method to heal damaged heels. They protect the heels and help to retain moisture. If you’ve heard about wearing socks every night to lock in moisture, this is the super-charged option, because the silicone won’t absorb any of the product (unlike, say, cotton socks). Plus, it’s a bit cooler than wearing warm socks all night.
Get five pairs from Amazon for $14.99.
“Epsom salt is used to provide exfoliation of the dead skin on the feet,” Correa explained. “The foot soak may help decrease roughness and leave the feet softer.” Correa suggests opting for an unscented Epsom salt to avoid any allergic reactions due to added fragrance.
Get it from Amazon for $15.99.
An ultraviolet shoe sterilizer
Open cracks or injuries could pose health risks to your feet if they are dry.
“Sterilizing your shoes using a UV shoe sterilizer is the best way to prevent and protect from harmful bacteria especially when the skin is open and more prone to catching bacteria,” Correa suggested.
Engelman echoes these thoughts, noting that it’s important to wear closed-back shoes and socks whenever possible, which will provide two layers of protection to your feet and heels.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.