Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Exactly Where I Need to Be
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Actually, trimming the dead skin away will help, not hurt. I have been dealing with this issue for years. A really good pedicure utilizing a callus razor is the best place to start. Soak your feet in very warm water for about 15 minutes -- I do this in the tub. Then, using a callus razor (sometimes called a corn/callus plane) with a fresh blade, I shave off the dead skin, especially around the open cracks. You'll know where not to shave -- it will hurt, as you said. But removing the dead skin actually allows the cracks to heal without progressing further into live skin.
The VERY BEST thing I have found so far for the cracked heels and dry skin is unrefined, extra-virgin cocont oil taken orally as a supplement and applied topically at least once per day (like after showering or before bed). Seriously, after years of having issues with this, I haven't had a crack at all this winter, when winter is usually the worst.
I've heard of other people having good success with both flax seed oil and evening primrose oil supplements. However, I would steer clear of flax seed oil, personally. It goes rancid very, very quickly after opening, even when refrigerated.
I am always very well hydrated, as well. Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with deeper nutritional issues and gut health, at least for me.