You learned a lot of things growing up, but how to take care of your feet probably wasn’t one of them. We tend to take our feet for granted until they start to look a little worse for wear. While you may be tempted to hide them in closed-toe shoes, you may actually be making the problem worse by doing so. Dry skin can eventually crack and even bleed. Not only is it painful, but it can also make your feet more prone to infection.

 

Causes and Solutions for Dry, Cracked Skin and Feet

 

Cause #1: Going Barefoot Beats Up Your Feet – While there’s nothing better than walking in the surf or digging your toes into cushy carpeting, bare feet are often prone to dryness. After all, there’s nothing hydrating your skin, and sand, water, and even the wood floor in your house can absorb precious moisture and leave your toes and heels cracked and uncomfortable. If you want to know how to get pretty feet, then start including routine foot care in your morning or evening ritual. Foot care at home is as simple as soaking your feet and sloughing off the dead skin on a daily or weekly basis with a pumice stone. Pumice works best when wet (and it’s gentler, too), so keep a pumice stone in your shower or next to your tub and scrub the bottoms of your feet each time you bathe.

 

Cause #2: The Trouble with Tight Shoes – Feet can get just as dry, or more so, in the winter months when you wear socks and heavy shoes. Boots, especially, tend to fit snugly, and the tighter the shoe the greater the friction. If you can’t change your shoes, you can certainly change how they fit. Give your feet some breathing room by taking off your shoes whenever possible (like under your desk while you’re working). Lack of circulation can cause skin to become dry and irritated, so give your toes a breather every once in a while. You may also want to use foot products that contain tea tree oil, which “has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties” and can help prevent skin from developing an infection, like athlete’s foot.

 

Cause #3: Dry Climates Take a Toll – When the air in your house, office, or car is dry, you can just imagine what it’s doing to your skin. In winter, heaters run to keep us warm, but our feet can suffer in the meantime. In these cases, adding back the moisture is key. Look for product labels with words like “foot cream” or “feet moisturizer.” These creams are designed for the skin on your feet, which is thicker than other skin. Cocoa butter is especially helpful and has been used for centuries to treat dryness and restore suppleness to skin, and Shea butter soothes skin and is rich in vitamins A, E, and F.

 

Cause #4: Aging Skin Is Drier – There’s one given in this world, and that’s the inevitability of aging. As your skin ages, its texture changes, and it also becomes more prone to dryness, and that includes your feet. While we can’t stop Mother Nature’s inevitable clock, we can choose the best foot care products and put them to good use regularly. To treat your dry feet overnight, simply apply your favorite foot cream and then lock in that moisture by wearing socks. In the morning, your feet will be softer and prettier