Dry weather and feet neglect may cause heels to crack. Cracked heels, medically known as heel fissures, are unsightly and can sometimes be very painful. Cracked heels are more prevalent in women, because of the shoes they wear. Neglecting your feet can result in cracks.
Here we will go over some natural homemade remedies that can improve heels that are cracked, and will also prevent cracks from occurring in the first place.
What Causes Cracked Heels
Here we will discuss the most common causes of cracked heels. The four most common causes of cracked heels are thick callus build up, dry skin, excess pressure to your feet, and fungal infections. Often times a combination of these factors will result in cracking heels.
Callus Build Up :
The biggest factor that can cause cracked heels is the forming of thick calluses on your feet. Over time, from everyday activities calluses will build up, especially on heels. This thick layer of dead skin is helpful in protecting our feet.
If the callus grows to be to too thick though, you can run into problems. Thick layers of dead skin will no longer be elastic like healthy skin. So, instead of heels expanding under pressure, they will crack open.
To prevent this from happening you can exfoliate away the dead skin on your feet. It can be helpful to either use a pumice stone for physical exfoliating, or salicylic acid pads for chemical exfoliating.
Dry Skin :
Once your feet become dried out, you are at risk of developing cracked heels. There are many things that can cause the skin on your feet to dry out. The winter months are notorious for drying out people’s skin, especially in desert locations. Getting a humidifier can help to keep your skin soft and moist during the winter months.
Lack of proper hydration is another cause of cracked heels. Make sure you are always drinking the recommended amount of water each day. Excessive hot baths or showers will remove natural oils from skin that retain moisture. Finally, not taking proper care of your feet by moisturizing them often enough can lead to dryness.
Excess Pressure :
After you have thick calluses and they are faced with harsh dry conditions, a crack is almost inevitable. Eventually, you will put extra pressure or weight on your feet and it will trigger a crack to form. This can be simply from walking, running, lifting something, or standing for too long. These circumstances cause your heel to expand and flatten. Normally, the skin is moist, and elastic enough to handle this pressure.
However, when the skin is dry it is not elastic at all, and instead of expanding your heels will crack open. Maintaining a healthy weight and using shoe inserts can help to reduce the pressure on your feet. Heel cups in your shoes can also prevent heels from expanding and cracking.
Fungal Infections :
Sometimes dry and cracking heels is caused by a foot fungus. Normally these cracks are not deep, but instead are thin white cracks on the surface. Flaking is also common. This is caused by the athlete’s foot fungus. Most people think that athlete’s foot only occurs between the toes, this is incorrect. The infection can spread to almost any other part of your body, including heels.
Fungal growth speeds up in dark and moist conditions. So adding moisturizer will not help your cracked heels in this case. In face, it will make things worse. Instead you should be using an anti-fungal cream.
Home Remedies for Cracked Heels
1.) Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is not exactly like normal salt and it has some different medical properties, if you soak your feet in water boiled with Epsom salt you will not only get relief to aching feet but also moisturise your feet enough to get rid of the remaining dead skin.
Following the soak in Epsom salt water you can scrub your feet with a foot scrub or a pumice stone, Epsom salt lets water enter the foot so that the foot is not dehydrated, but remember to do this at night before sleeping or it won’t have time to heal.
2.) Banana and Avocado Paste
Avocado and banana are among the many less known fruits that have an incredible healing property, the fats in avocado are mostly oils that will nourish the skin and keep your feet fresh like a baby.
You can start by mixing the fruits in a bowl (add a few drops of coconut oil if the mixture is too dry according to you. Apply the mixture to your heels at night before sleeping and suspend your feet in the air using a pillow. Do this thrice a week to see effects on your cracked feet.
3.) Glycerin and Rosewater
sometimes the best way to stick up a crack is to put the stickiest thing you can find in between it, luckily for us the mixture of glycerine and rose water is not only awesome and sticky but also pretty soothing to the feet.
Note:the mixture works best if refrigerated. Mix the two ingredients in a bowl and apply it to the affected areas, you can cover it up using a sock but remember not to make a mess with it. This not only soothes the leg but also gives the coolest feeling your feet have ever felt.
4.) Vegetable oil
Vegetable oil is a great agent to keep your moisture attached to your feet, start by wetting your feet and applying normal vegetable oil that is available at home to your feet.
Put on a pair of socks and retire for the night, this is a rather long process but it’s one that is not only natural but also quite affordable as you use only a few drops of oil on your feet per day.
5.) Vaseline Lemon Juice
Rinse your feet properly with water and soap in the night, that’s the best opportunity to apply the Vaseline, following this rub a little lime juice a few hours after the Vaseline sets in. Wearing a pair of socks is great to keep the moisture in adds to the effectiveness of this technique.
6.) Olive oil and Oatmeal
olive oil is known for creating smooth and healthy skin, the fats present in the oil is nourishing and you should apply it with a cotton swab to the affected areas, oil may be very slippery so you could cover it with a plastic and wear a sock over it, there are a lot of good properties in the oil to make it.
Beeswax is used for cosmetic purposes for a very long time, beeswax is dryish and available in many creamy forms that when used will not make a mess of your floor if you plan to walk you can apply it directly without much preparation and you will still get best results.
Try putting on socks to keep it undisturbed. Apply it on cracked foot gently, leave it for 10 min and then wash it off.
8.) Honey & Lemon
If you thought honey and lemon were only good for losing weight you were wrong, honey is one of the ingredients used to soften skin and give it a glow and adding lemon or any citrus fruit to the mixture will only help you clean the desired areas better.
Start by stirring the honey in water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. This procedure done for a week might just give you your beautiful feet back.
9.) Rice flour scrub
Use Rice flour to gently remove dead skin from foot
Wet rice flour is rough and a great agent to help exfoliate your skin, you can make a batch to soak your feet in by adding the flour to a tub of water and rubbing your feet to the bed of the tub, add a few drops of olive oil to the mixture to aid the healing process.
10.) Baking Soda & Olive Oil
Using a combination of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and olive oil is a great way to keep your heels free of cracks. Bicarbonate of soda helps to create ideal PH for the feet, and it will also help to exfoliate skin.
Pour half a cup of baking soda into water, and then soak your feet for about fifteen minutes. Pat them dry and apply olive oil to moisturize. This will give you very soft heels after a few treatments.
These natural home remedies for cracked heels will ensure that you have clean, soft and beautiful feet. Also drink lots of water to ensure that the whole body is hydrated throughout the day. If cracked heels are infected, or they start bleeding and you are finding it difficult to walk, see a doctor immediately.