How Do I Treat Chapped Feet?

Madeleine A.

Chapped feet can be treated by soaking the feet is warm water and then moisturizing them. Dry, cracked feet are usually not caused by dry skin, but by exposure to the elements or improper care. Soaking chapped feet in a foot bath of warm water and mild soap will soften and loosen dead skin. After the skin has been softened, a pedicure brush can be used to scrub the feet, followed by a gentle rub with a pumice stone. The feet should then be rinsed and thoroughly dried and slathered with moisturizer.

A woman getting a pedicure to prevent chapped feet.
A woman getting a pedicure to prevent chapped feet.

Cracked feet generally respond to warm foot soaks and moisturizing, however, feet that are severely cracked should be evaluated by a podiatrist. This is especially true when they are severely chapped, or when the patient has a diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetic patients are prone to foot ulcers and delayed wound healing, so their foot care should be performed only by a medical professional.

Petroleum jelly, which can help with chapped feet.
Petroleum jelly, which can help with chapped feet.

Petroleum jelly is an effective lubricant for chapped feet. Applying petroleum jelly on the heels of the feet and covering them with soft cotton socks overnight greatly relieves chapped feet and restores them to their original suppleness. Also, applying moisturizer or petroleum to the feet on a daily basis can stave off dryness and chapped feet. When chapped feet result in breaks in the skin, the possibility of infection rises.

Applying moisturizer helps alleviate the discomfort from chapped feet.
Applying moisturizer helps alleviate the discomfort from chapped feet.

Signs of a foot infection related to cracked feet include redness, inflammation, and irritation. Sometimes, an increase in temperature over the affected area occurs, as does the formation of pus. When signs of a foot infection appear, the health care provider needs to be notified. Treatment for a foot infection caused by cracked feet include a topical or oral antibiotic and special moisturizing agents to hasten healing.

Wearing open-backed shoes may cause dry, cracked feet.
Wearing open-backed shoes may cause dry, cracked feet.

Getting frequent pedicures can sometimes prevent chapped feet or cracks in the feet. The client needs to make sure that pedicure instruments are sterile so that the risk of infection is minimized. If preferred, instruments from home can be brought into the salon to use instead. Wearing sling-back shoes or flip flops or going barefoot can increase the risk of chapped or cracked feet, and should be avoided.

Walking barefoot may cause dry feet.
Walking barefoot may cause dry feet.

Feet that are scaly or otherwise look abnormal may be indicative of a fungal infection. A fungal infection can also cause the toenails to thicken and turn yellow or green. If these symptoms occur, a podiatrist or other health care professional should be consulted to rule out a fungal infection. Treating a fungal infection includes the use of topical anti-fungal preparations, and in some cases, taking oral anti-fungal medications.

Part of the treatment for chapped feet is the use of a pumice stone.
Part of the treatment for chapped feet is the use of a pumice stone.
Chapped feet are treated using moisturizers.
Chapped feet are treated using moisturizers.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: