How to Treat Dry Skin on Feet

To treat conditions like athlete's food, try prescription meds like Lotrimin or Lamisil. OTC creams work in about 50 percent of the cases. You can try to treat athlete's foot yourself, but if you notice cracks in the skin, a symptom of a more advanced infection, you should visit your doctor to get prescription-strength medicine. [source:]

If you think you have athlete's foot and want to try to treat it yourself with drugstore products, consistent daily use of the treatment even after symptoms disappear is the best way to improve your success rate of getting rid of the fungal problem. Failure to see improvement is usually the result of medicine applied infrequently— you need to apply it at least twice to three times a day—or treatment stopped too soon.. Even if your problem seems to disappear after two weeks, keep using the OTC creams for another four weeks. [source:]

If you suffer from dry, rough heels and athlete's food is not to blame, use a lactic-acid based cream and mix it with Vaseline; then rub the mixture on your feet at night and cover with socks, suggests Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology. She says if you do this every night, your heels will be soft within a month. She also suggests using pumice stones after bathing or soaking your feet and Ped Egg foot filers are great for treating dry skin and helpful in conjunction with the lactic acid/Vaseline combo. They all work better together than alone, she says.

Another remedy to try on your feet is lanolin for chapped, dry skin. It can be found over-the-counter and is usually labeled as a product for breastfeeding mothers. [source:]

For severely dry, rough feet and cracked heels, you may want to ask your podiatrist about Kerasal ointment, which has been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Many dermatologists recommend Kerasal, declaring it both easy-to-use and cost-effective. Not only does it decrease calluses but it also minimizes cracking skin from dry feet. [source:]

When you notice that your skin is dry on the tops of your feet and legs, try a loofah sponge or use an exfoliating skin product. And be sure to add lotion to those dry skin areas. [source:]

Related Articles


  • Dr. Miguel Sanchez, Personal correspondence, March 22, 2013.
  • Mona Gohara, MD. Personal correspondence. September 3, 2013.
  • Diana Kelly. "7 Gross Workout Habits That Wreck Your Skin."
  •, Suzette Hill. "What's the Diagnosis: Dry Skin or Athlete's Foot?"
  •, Catherine Moyer, DPM, "Coping with Dry, Cracked Feet"
  • "8 Common Foot Problems."