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Dry feet and heels are a common problem, especially if you stand for long periods of time or wear flip-flops and sandals on a regular basis. If you don't exfoliate your feet to remove dry skin, the dead skin cells will accumulate to form a dry, scaly layer on your heels. The dry skin lacks flexibility, which can lead to cracks that result in the formation of scales divided by painful fissures in your skin. The key to healing your feet is to slough off dead, dry skin and moisturize to keep the heel region soft and pliable while the cracked regions heal.
Fill a plastic basin or a foot bath with very warm water. Add a few foot soak crystals to the water. They will moisturize, soften and cleanse your feet.
Soak your feet in the warm water for 20 minutes.
Remove one of your feet from the foot bath and exfoliate with a metal foot file. Pay special attention to the ball of your foot, the heel and the sides and back of the heel region. Periodically dip the foot file in the water to remove the dead skin that accumulates on the file.
Put the exfoliated foot back in the water and repeat the exfoliation process on your other foot.
Remove both feet from the water and pat dry with a towel. Discard the water.
Saturate a few cotton balls with hydrogen peroxide and swab the cracked regions of your heels. You only have to do this in cases where the skin has broken.
Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the cracks in your heels.
Apply a thick, even coat of moisturizing foot cream to your entire foot. Immediately cover your foot with a cotton sock. Repeat this process for your other foot.
Leave the socks on overnight. This will allow the cream to soak into the dry skin.
Repeat steps 1 through 10 for two weeks or until your heels are smooth and crack-free. Maintain soft, crack-free feet and heels by filing your feet four times a week and moisturizing nightly.
Use a bathtub instead of a foot bath by plugging the drain and allowing the tub to fill with warm water while you shower. File your feet at the end of your shower.
If you do not see improvement within a week, or if the cracks are very painful, visit your podiatrist for treatment. Heel cracks can get infected. Signs of an infection include redness, pus, discharge, pain and swelling. If you observe signs of an infection, visit a physician for treatment. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to heal the infection.