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What are Some Home Remedies for Cracked Skin?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jan 28, 2024
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Cracked skin appears most commonly on the hands and feet, and there are a number of basic ways to treat and prevent it. Many home remedies for cracked skin are quite effective when they are used on a regular basis. In some cases, you may have to resort to medical treatment, especially if your cracked skin is especially deep or painful. A doctor can prescribe medications which may help to clean up the underlying causes of the condition.

Eczema, psoriasis, and generally dry skin are three common causes of cracked skin, and they can be exaggerated by dry conditions. Often, the skin starts out dry and scaly, before slowly cracking and forming skin fissures. If skin fissures are allowed to deepen, they can be extremely painful, and they are much harder to treat. Try to treat dry and cracked skin early, before it reaches this stage.

One of the best remedies for cracked skin is hydration. Soak the affected area in warm water for around 15 minutes a day, and dry it thoroughly. You can also add oils to the water for added moisture, and you should always apply a moisturizer to cracked skin after a soak. Bath oils are excellent for this purpose, as is petroleum jelly or Vaseline®. Avoid using moisturizing creams, as some can actually end up drying skin out; to test a moisturizer, apply it to a small patch of skin and wait a few minutes. If your skin feels tight, the moisturizer is drying, and it should not be used.

At night, moisturize your hands and/or feet thoroughly and wear gloves or socks. The overnight soak in moisturizer can help to soften and soothe cracked skin. For mild skin fissures, you can try a thin line of superglue to help close the crack, but this is not advised for deep fissures. If your cracked skin is accompanied by an itchy feeling, add baking soda to your soaking water to help relieve the itching.

Diet is another thing on the list of home remedies for cracked skin. Eat more zinc, vitamin E, and omega threes to help hydrate and condition your skin from the inside. These substances are also good for general health, and they are available from sources such as supplements and foods like fish. When you combine topical remedies with an improved diet, you can achieve and maintain healthier, smoother skin.

Pumice stones and files are also useful remedies for cracked skin. Try smoothing and filing the area to wear away dry, old, cracked skin and to promote the growth of healthy new skin. Do not file excessively, as you do not want to flay your skin; be patient and work on a small section daily. Soak and hydrate after you do this to further soothe and smooth your skin.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon954603 — On Jun 02, 2014

I've had great success using Dari Natural products. I use the facial cleanser and the tropical face butter. They have the best prices for good products. I order it online.

By anon314193 — On Jan 16, 2013

Lots of vegetarians miss things in their diets, so check yours for zinc (from potato skins and walnuts) magnesium.

By anon314028 — On Jan 15, 2013

I went through chemotherapy due to colon cancer and now my hands get dry and crack and bleed. They sometimes feel like if I put them into boiling oil and when they dry they look white and embarrassing. I tried all sorts of medicine from doctors and nothing seams to work

By anon268207 — On May 13, 2012

I am a 12 year old girl and I was 3 1/2 months premature and I have eczema badly. My hands are cracking but they aren't painful. On the other half my feet are cracking deeply and they are starting to bleed. How could I treat my hands and feet?

By anon195131 — On Jul 10, 2011

I love Dari Natural's Tropical Butter. You can buy it online. It's made from an unrefined shea butter and lanolin. It's all natural and it works wonderful! I had very severe cracks on my heels, but now I've started using this butter and it really works. It doesn't just soften your heels, but it actually heals the wounds.

By anon185612 — On Jun 12, 2011

My feet are the worst of the worst. They have deep heavy cracks and they bleed too, and I keep them closed all year round, but after 20 years of going to foot doctors and expensive creams and soaking, and filing, and them getting worse, my brother suggested something that a friend of his did, since he had bad feet too.

The cream is called Udderly Smooth. It's udder cream. I believe you get it at the animal stores.

And it's the best thing for feet like ours. As a matter of fact, for the first time in 10 years, I have gone out with sandals this summer. Also, give your feet a good hot soak for a half hour, file the old skin and put the cream on, the put socks on. This cream is greaseless. It's the best thing and it works.

By anon167780 — On Apr 14, 2011

my son is only four years old but he has a very dry and cracked skin, and he often says that his skin is itching. I am using cetaphil lotion, vaseline petroleum jelly and non hypo allergenic liquid bath soap for him, but it didn't work. How I wish I could find the solution for him before he gets older and is self-conscious because of it.

By anon163574 — On Mar 28, 2011

My thumb cracked and bled so I treated it as dermatitis/ eczema with no relief. A Dr. told me it was a skin fungus. As an aromatherapist I made and anti-fungal oil blend and and within three days, the crack began to heal. I continue using it as the fungus spread a bit and the oil works whenever I have an outbreak.

By anon157748 — On Mar 04, 2011

I am vegetarian and I do not even eat eggs, but my skin is so hard and there are many cracks in my hands and feet and it's very painful and sometimes i cannot work or walk. also i want to cure this problem, so please tell me what should i do.

By anon152352 — On Feb 13, 2011

Just soak your hand in boiling water. it may burn, but the heat relieves the cracks.

By anon139143 — On Jan 03, 2011

vaseline is the way to go. nothing works better.

By anon91950 — On Jun 24, 2010

my skin suddenly cracked in and it's looking so aged. i even put lotion on it but nothing is happening.

By anon83318 — On May 10, 2010

i use Badger balm. If cracks are painful I apply the balm to a plaster and cover the crack for a few days. works a treat.

By anon17422 — On Aug 29, 2008

My skin is very dry, not deep cracks though but you can see them forming. I cream myself with rich creams at night and in the morning, but when i go back to cream my skin again at night and in the morning it look like I have not creamed at all.

I am a vegetarian but I eat fish so that is a main thing on my diet. Plus I try to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruit.

My skin appears to be getting worse and I do not want to have deep cracks and end up having scars.

What should I do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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