Thickened, dry skin on the feet and heels is something that I see on my patients every day. Sometimes these thick layers of skin split, causing painful cracks in the skin. People are walking around with this problem unaware that it’s totally preventable…I have to say something!
Staring deep into the chasm on your heel, you might feel helpless..not to mention uncomfortable. Piling on moisturizer is not going to cut it here (pun is bad, but intended). For the split and sore areas, use a healing ointment like Aquaphor twice a day. The second step is to use an exfoliating lotion to help break down the thickened layers of skin which are surrounding the cracks. Two great OTC options are Amlactin 12% Moisturizing Lotion or CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion. Use one of these twice a day, avoiding the specifically open/sore spots. Before your nighttime goop application, soak your feet for a few minutes in lukewarm water. This will get your skin prepped to accept the topical treatments. Wear socks to bed, to keep the lotion and Aquaphor in place.
This regimen has to be followed with diligence for several weeks to get the results you want. If there was an overnight cure, I would definitely use it AND share it…but it’s just a matter of sticking to the protocol. Once your feet are crack-free and back to their normal texture, use the exfoliating lotion once or twice a week at night, alternating with a ceramide-containing moisturizer such as Cetaphil Restoraderm or CeraVe Lotion. We should be proud of our tootsies, it’s almost flip-flop weather!