Herbal baths for hard dry cracking feet?

centaurfeedDecember 31, 2009

I have really hard dry cracking skin and have been covering my feet in lotion and then rapping my feet in plastic and waiting 2 hours or go to sleep with it on. Please HELP. I have gone to a doctor and thatÂs what I was told to do but it isnÂt working. Please HELP. I don't won't to go and spend more money on doctors that can't help my feet. So can anyone help me?

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Is this something new or something that has been on-going? I ask because I find doctors are great at treating symptoms but not always so good at addressing what is really wrong - like what is causing your feet to be dry and cracking. If it is new, what has changed?

And I am assuming that this is causing you pain or bleeding and is not just a "looks dry" sort of thing for you to be so worried. Because personally I have dry and cracking skin on the back of my heels and it's never caused me any discomfort. It's just the way my skin is and I don't try to fight it.....I don't think I could anyways without a great deal of constant effort.

That said, I find the healthiest thing for anyone's feet is to not be in shoes. Air your feet out as much as you can. Socks are ok...use cotton socks or some other natural breathable fabric if your feet get chilly.

And for dry and chapped skin, I like to use a simple calendula salve. I make my own out of calendula blossoms that I've grown and harvested along with olive oil and beeswax. Simple stuff to make but it does wonders for me.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 3:27PM
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Have you been tested for diabetes? Problems with feet and skin are common with that condition. Also with thyroid conditions. Appearances of cracked heels also indicate zinc and omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Best to get checked out thoroughly.

Good old lanoline (wool fat) is marvellous for dry, cracking feet. Slather it on - but not if you're allergic to it. You can also use Vaseline.

Try NOT using soap for a while when bathing or showering. Use a subsitute product like Sorbolene instead. All over. Your chemist should be able to advise you. Soap is very drying.

I second FataMorgana's advice about Calendula salve. Very effective. Or try a mixture of glycerine and Rosewater.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 6:01PM
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I never had a problem with my feet until we moved to WI. My skin just shriveled up. My heels in particular started to crack and were really painful. I discovered one of the reasons was the carpeting in the apartment building. It's short nylon(I assume)loop. Very rough on the feet...sometimes the fibers would actually slice the skin. I no longer go barefoot inside. I wear socks, slippers, sandals, flip-flops, whatever will protect my feet. I do use almond oil or bag balm on my heels at night, and Corn Huskers lotion during the day as it is not greasy feeling. HTH

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Use Aloe Vera on your feet. Go to the library and search herbal books that aren't to showy. If a book is showy then the author knows nothing in the subject and wants you to just by a useless book.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 5:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I must say, forestelves, that your statement should not be taken seriously. There are plenty of colorful, well-illustrated books on the market written by highly respected experts.

centaurfeed, I wonder about your doctor's advice to wrap your feet in plastic. Skin cells need to breathe, and your pores need to be able to evaporate properly. I'd think that the plastic would make matters a whole lot worse.

Besides diabetes and thyroid problems, dry and cracked feet can be caused by the athlete's foot fungus. So, adding tea tree oil, neem oil, or grapefruit seed extract to your emollient of choice would be helpful.

I totally agree that cotton socks will help, too.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 2:27PM
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jane_socal(Sunset 23/z10)

I've had doctors prescribe fruit-acid and other lotions for this (both Rx and OTC, like U-Lactin and Carmol 40), but they can cause problems if you're sensitive to their ingredients, and can sting if they touch raw skin.

Of course, as others have said, screen and get treatment for any underlying medical problems first.

Then, you might try what's been helping me lately: first, gently sand down the hard parts with those sandpaper-covered paddles sold for foot care (best done on dry feet; otherwise it leaves the skin a little ragged, or you may inadvertently sand off too much). Follow by soaking the feet or showering, then Vitamin E oil, rubbed in while the skin is still slightly damp, to seal in the moisture (Trader Joe's sells bottles of it inexpensively). Then, especially to avoid slipping or rubbing off on bedclothes or whatever, put on cotton or other loose socks.

If there are fissures, close them with Superglue (a dermatologist advised this--and it works).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 6:31PM
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the_gurgler(DFW TX 7b Sunset 33)

I second the heavy lotion + cotton socks.

When I have really bad dry hands or feet I slather on plenty of some fatty lotion (olive oil, shea butter, almond oil, and coconut oil have all worked) and puts cotton socks on (hands too if they need it). Leave the socks on all night and in the morning you should be well moisturized.

I've also done the super glue trick with success.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 1:26AM
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After you've ruled out medical conditions, you can try soaking your feet in a warm cornmeal bath. Use horticultural cornmeal. Just put half a cup to a cup of cornmeal in a panty hose and tie off. Let it steep in your water and then soak until the water cools. Rinse your feet in some lukewarm water and blot dry. Apply your lotion. You can probably reuse your cornmeal. Not only will it soften your skin, it will help with any nail fungus.

You might also consider adding fish oil capsules to your diet if you're not currently taking any and make sure you're drinking plenty of plain water.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 7:43PM
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OMG... forget all the herbal remedies! I just finished using my first Baby Foot treatment and it totally removed about 50 years of struggling with cracked calloused heels. I do not work for them or anything... I just know how frustrating it is to try everything with little results. Sooo, you put on these booties that have 17 natural plant extracts... day one - nothing. Day 2 nothing. Day three and 4 a tiny little peel. Day 5-7... everything comes off in full thickness sheets. $25 online. Now I have perfectly clean and callous free feet.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:00PM
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