not a professional. just crazy.

The Two-Step Routine That Heals My Cracked, Lobster-Red Feet

The author, post-treatment. Photo: Rio Vierra-Newton

This isn’t something I’m necessarily keen to admit, but I have endless foot issues: My heels are perpetually dry and cracked, and my eczema often strikes my soles, making them itchy, red like lobsters, and uncomfortable. Truly, it’s a nightmare. Especially in the summer, when I want to wear sandals out, but am too ashamed to show off my weird rashy feet.

For years, I searched for ways to cure this inconvenient affliction: gentle loofahs, I read, would help eliminate dead skin; prescription creams, apparently, would heal cracks and wounds; and diet changes, said the internet, would help prevent eczema flare-ups. And while some of these helped short term, my foot troubles always managed to come back, usually worse than before.

That all changed in May. After several months spent sleuthing around eczema and dry-foot forums (yes, they exist), I noticed two products were mentioned over and over again: O’Keeffe’s Healthy Foot Cream, and NatraCure Vented Moisturizing Gel Heel Sleeves. I bought both. And using them in tandem, I’ve since found, has helped more than anything I’ve ever tried (about ten times more than Aveeno’s Eczema Cream) when it comes to reducing foot pain, sensitivity, and itchiness.

Here’s the routine: When I first notice any dryness or pain, I apply a quarter-size amount of the O’Keeffe’s to each of my feet right after I get out of the shower (in general, I find that this is the best time to apply creams and lotions; your pores are open, so your skin is better able to receive the moisture). The cream is thick but not greasy, and, best of all, it is pleasantly scentless. I go about my evening activities, then, right before bed, apply a little bit more. This product on its own is extremely effective — after about two days of using it, your feet will feel smoother and softer, and any cracks in your heels will begin to fade away. It’s magical.

But if you’re situation is more like mine, or John Turturro’s in The Night Of, you’re going to want to incorporate part two of my foot-issue regime. After I apply my second round of cream, I slip on the NatraCure jelly-lined socks. They lock in the moisture from the O’Keeffe’s, and are themselves infused with vitamin E, rose oil, and jojoba oil, so while you wear them, you’re getting a second layer of hydrating and healing treatment. I sleep with these on, but if you don’t like wearing socks while you sleep, throw them on before bed, when you’re watching TV or lounging around your apartment.

After using this duo two or three days in a row, almost all of the redness on my feet fades, the wretched itchiness is majorly reduced, and the cracks and dry spots disappear. These two products allow me to wear my sole-baring Rafa sandals all summer, without wondering anxiously if everyone I encounter is looking at my dry, gross feet.

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The Two-Step Routine That Heals My Cracked, Lobster-Red Feet