10 Ways to Get Rid Of Cracked Heels
This is a very common problem and it can range in severity from a normal cosmetic issue to a painful and troublesome problem.
The problem might be accompanied by other symptoms like redness, itching, peeling skin and inflammation in addition to dry skin. You can take proper precautions right away to prevent cracks from causing bleeding and pain and from getting any deeper.
There are various causes of cracked heels. Mostly it is caused due to insufficient moisture in skin and they can become really troublesome. This is caused by various reasons including:
- Cold winter weather
- Taking very hot baths or showers
- Soaking in a hot bath for too long or too frequently
- Scrubbing feet dry
- Having diabetes
- Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
- Not moisturizing your feet
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
As the skin cracks, it may begin to bleed. These deep heel fissures can allow bacteria and viruses to enter the body, leading to infection and illness.
Diagnosing Cracked Heels
If your heels are cracked and they feel painful, and if it doesn’t improve in some days with some normal ways, you need to visit a podiatrist who can consult you with identifying the problem. Podiatrist can help you with the fissures on your heel and if they find it severe enough they will give a way through.
If the podiatrist doesn’t think it is severe or if the fissure is normal, you can just drink plenty of water and keep your feet clean. Do this and you can fix the problem just by hydrating your body and keeping your feet clean and healthy.
Some Risk Factors
Basically, the two major risk factors for cracked heels are obesity and diabetes. Diabetics are very likely to experience cracked heels as damage to nerves in the feet because of uncontrolled blood sugars can cause dry skin. Diabetes patients are even more likely to sustain an infection from cracked heels compared to non-diabetics. Examining your feet frequently for signs of cracks or infection is a must if you are a diabetic.
Due to more weight on heel pad, obesity also increases your chances of having cracked heels.
Obesity increases your chances of having cracked heels because there is even more weight on the heel pad, which causes it to expand out further. Dry skin is unable to handle the added pressure and cracks.
Here are the top 10 remedies for cracked heels.
Vegetable Oil: Variety of vegetable oils can be used for treating and preventing cracked heels. Vegetable oils like olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or any other hydrogenated vegetable oils are known to work. You can use this remedy just before going to bed for allowing ample time for the oil to work completely on your skin.
- Soak your feet in water (put soap for better results) and scrub your feet with a pumice stone.
- Now, wash your feet and thoroughly dry them
- Take any vegetable oil and apply it liberally on your soles and heels.
- You can put on a pair of clean socks for better results and leave them on overnight while you sleep. This can bring a drastic change overnight and your heels will feel noticeably softer.
- Do this for a few days until heel cracks are completely gone.
Rice Flour: Exfoliation of the skin on your heels and feet helps remove dead skin, and thus prevents cracks and dryness. Rice flour is a good homemade exfoliating scrub and this can be used for your heels.
- Take a handful of ground rice and mix it with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and honey.
- Now, stir it until it becomes a thick paste. In case of extremely bad cracks, you can add a tablespoon of olive or sweet almond oil.
- Finally, soak your feet in warm water for some minutes and scrub them gently with the recently prepared rice flour paste.
- You can do this for a few times a week but remember to scrub gently.
Indian Lilac: Also known as neem or margosa leaves, Indian Lilac, is one of the most effective remedy for your cracked feet, more so when the heels are itchy and infected. This helps in soothing dry, irritated skin and fights infection as it consists of fungicidal properties.
- Make a fine paste by crushing a handful of Indian lilac leaves, now, add three teaspoons of turmeric powder. Mix it.
- Now, apply the paste gently on the cracks and leave it for about 30 minutes.
- Now, wash your feet with warm water and use a clean cloth to dry them.
Lemons: Lemons have the acidic property which can be very effective in softening rough skin which is a main reason for heel cracks.
- Take some warm water in foot tub and add lemon juice to it. Now soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes in the water. Do not use very hot water or that will make your feet more dry.
- Use a pumice stone to scrub your cracked heels.
- Finally, wash your feet and pat it dry with a towel.
Glycerin and Rose Water: Glycerin and rose water work together in an excellent way to heal your cracked heels. This combo makes an effective home treatment because glycerin generally softens the skin that is why it is used a lot in cosmetics and rose water on the other hand adds vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E and also antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Take equal amounts of glycerin and rose water and mix them thoroughly, now, rub it on your heels and feet.
- Do this daily before going to bed.
Paraffin Wax: When the cracks on your heels are really painful and bad, you can use a paraffin wax treatment to get rid of it. This helps in soften your skin as it acts as a natural emollient.
- Take one block of paraffin wax and melt it in a double boiler and then mix two tablespoons of mustard or coconut oil in it.
- Now, let it cool until you see a thin layer formed on the top. Now, you can dip your feet in the mixture, put it in for 5 to 10 seconds and dip again. Do this for a few times and do until you have several layers of wax built up.
- Finally, cover your feet with a plastic and then leave it for half an hour. Now, gently remove the plastic and peel off the wax from your skin.
- Do this once or twice a week.
Caution: Never dip your feet in the paraffin wax mixture when it is hot. Also, don’t consider this method if you have poor circulation or you are diabetic.
Epsom Salt: Keeping your heels moisturized when you have cracked heels is very important. Epsom salt can help you do that and also it helps in circulation as well.
- Take one-half cup of Epsom salt in a foot tub and fill it with warm water.
- Soak your feet in this solution for some minutes.
- Take a pumice stone to scrub your feet and again soak in for other 10 minutes.
- Now, pat your feet dry and apply some petroleum jelly or foot cream to lock in the moisture
- Putting on a pair of socks can give better results as it helps to prevent the added moisture from evaporating.
Bananas: It is one of the cheapest home remedies for cracked and dry heels, due to its moisturizing properties.
- Take one ripe banana and mash into a smooth paste. Clean your feet thoroughly and apply the paste on your heels.
- Allow it to stay for 12 to 15 minutes to make sure that your skin absorbs the natural nourishment. Now, wash your feet gently with some warm water and again soak your feet in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat this daily for some weeks in order to restore soft and smooth heels.
Honey: It is known that honey has moisturizing and antibacterial properties. This makes it an excellent treatment for dry and cracked heels.
- Take one cup of honey in a foot tub filled with warm water and stir it.
- Now, soak your feet in the water for some minutes.
- Gently scrub your feet.
- Repeat this for several times a week until you see improvement
Petroleum Jelly: Petroleum jelly is a very good way to keep your heels soft and moisturized. This keeps your heels free from dryness and roughness and prevents cracked heels.
- Scrub your feet after soaking it on foot tub for some minutes then apply some petroleum jelly and make a layer with it.
- Now, cover your feet with socks to make sure that the petroleum jelly soaks into the skin.
- Doing this daily before going to bed is more effective.
Try these natural treatments for restoring soft and smooth skin on your heels. Keeping your body well hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also a must and don’t forget to follow a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.
In case of severe cracked feet, or other complications like diabetes or impaired circulation then make sure you consult a doctor.