How to prevent: Gently scrub away dead skin cells with a pumice stone once a week, and moisturize feet daily with a thick cream containing hydrating acids, such as Lac-Hydrin Five Moisturizing Lotion.
How to treat: “Apply a thick coat of cream and wear cotton socks to bed,” suggests Deborah Sarnoff, a dermatologist in New York City. “Your feet will sweat a bit during the night, and the moisture will be deeply absorbed.” To increase absorption, place a tube of Aquaphor ($6, drugstore.com) in a small saucepan of warm water, slather the warm salve on top of the moisturizer, then put on socks. Reapply moisturizer in the morning.
When to see a professional: Painful cracks that don’t heal in a week or two probably need a prescription-strength cream. “Cracked, itchy feet could have a fungus or suffer from eczema or psoriasis,” says Hawk. Make an appointment with a dermatologist or a podiatrist.