Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, often occur due to lack of moisture, or care, for your feet. As there are no oil glands on the heels, they tend to get dry and crack.
Cracked heels can occur when your callouses crack due to expansion of the fat pad in your heels when walking. Other causes of cracked heel include; long, hot showers; using harsh soap or cream, dry or cold climates, walking around barefoot or with open back sandals, and wearing inappropriate shoes. Conditions such as malnutrition, diabetes, fungal infection, atopic dermatitis, aging, and obesity could also contribute to cracked heels and feet.
Symptoms of cracked heels and feet include; itching, bleeding, development of flaky skin, pain around the cracks, inflammation, and ulceration. Severe cases of cracked heels and feet could lead to other medical conditions such as cellulitis and numbness of the feet or heel.
Here are some tips and good practice, to consider, when dealing with cracked heels and feet;
- Avoid standing in one position for very long.
- Ensure you inspect your feet, for dryness, daily especially if you are diabetic.
- You could wear padded socks to help cushion the fat pad in your heels.
- Ensure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep your feet supple.
- You could use pumice stone, once or twice a week, to abrade off thick, dead skins on your heels.
- You could moisturize your feet at night and wear socks to trap in the moisture.
- If readily available, you could wear orthotics (shoe inserts) to help cushion the heels.
- Relaxing your feet or opting for foot massages, with oils, helps keep the feet supple and prevents cracking of feet and heels.
Below are 21 home remedies and natural treatments to get rid of cracked heels and feet;
1. Milk And Honey Exfoliator
Honey and milk can trap and seal moisture, especially on open cracks that run deep. Since milk is rich in vitamin A, it repairs and rebuilds the skin. Besides that, milk helps to thin out the honey for easy application. The two natural ingredients also act as a natural antibacterial. Ideally, you should mix two cups of honey and one cup of milk in a basin. If you want this remedy to be more effective, you could warm the milk. Soak your feet for 10 minutes and then scrub to remove the dead skin.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon contains citric acid which makes it a great exfoliator. To begin with, you should add lemon juice in warm water and then soak your feet for 20 minutes. Then, scrape the heels gently to remove the dead skin. Alternatively, you could mix papaya and lemon to create a paste. Use this paste as a mask by allowing it to sit on the heels for about 15 minutes. You may also consider massaging each heel with lemon oil for 5 to 10 minutes before going to bed.
3. Rice Flour Scrub
Add three tablespoon of rice flour, two teaspoons of honey, and a few drops of olive oil in a basin. Apply this mixture to your cracked heels or feet and scrub your feet gently to remove any dead skin. For optimal results, soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day.
4. Paraffin Wax
If your cracks are causing a lot of pain, paraffin wax can provide quick relief. You should melt paraffin wax and then add one spoon of mustard oil. Allow the mixture to cool to form a thin layer at the top. Make sure you keep your feet in the solution for 30 minutes before peeling the wax. Once done, add a moisturizer to promote skin cell regeneration.
5. Rosewater And Glycerin
Before you apply glycerin, you should put your feet in lukewarm water and scrub off the dead skin. A combination of rosewater and glycerin comes with several benefits. Rosewater is rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent while glycerin softens the skin. You should mix the two in equal amounts and then apply on your heels every day before going to bed.
6. Vinegar Soak
While there are several types of vinegar, the most common one is apple cider vinegar. Its primary ingredient is acetic acid. You should pour a half cup of the vinegar in a basin, soak your feet for 15 minutes and then gently scrub your feet. Be careful not to soak the feet for too long. Repeat this process three times a week.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil removes dead skin cells and hydrates the skin surface. Other than that, it strengthens the tissues beneath the epidermis thanks to its antioxidant, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. To use this remedy, you should first soak your feet in lukewarm water before rubbing with a pumice stone. Then, dry your feet and apply coconut oil.
While this home remedy may turn your feet yellow, it works miraculously. You should mix two spoons of turmeric powder with coconut oil and then apply on the cracked areas. Wash the feet after 30 minutes with warm water and then dry with a clean cloth. Do this twice a day.
9. Sesame Oil
This oil nourishes your cracked skin with vital nutrients. Sesame oil also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Just massage the affected area with sesame oil for 15 minutes before going to bed. After one week, you’ll see the positive change.
10. Banana And Avocado Treatment
Avocados contain vitamin E while bananas contain vitamin C. When the two work together, they protect your skin from UV damage. To get rid of cracked heels, you should make a mask with half an avocado and a ripe banana. Apply this mask to the cracked area and then leave it for 20 minutes. Then, wash your feet with warm water and let them dry. Repeat this process every day.
11. Oatmeal And Jojoba Oil Ointment
Oatmeal is an excellent skin nourishing agent. The good thing about this combination of oatmeal and jojoba oil is that you’ll get lasting results. For this remedy, you should take two teaspoons of powdered oatmeal and then add a few drops of jojoba oil to make a thick blend. Massage the cracked areas with the mixture and wash off after 30 minutes.
12. Shea Butter
First, you should soak your feet in warm soapy water for 15 minutes. Secondly, use a pumice stone to scrub off the dead skin. Once done, apply Shea butter on your feet and then cover with clean socks. When you leave shea butter overnight on your skin, it will penetrate into the dry skin leaving your skin fresh and supple.
13. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt contains magnesium which promotes healthy skin by drawing out toxins. You should add half cup of Epsom salt in a bathtub and then soak your feet for ten minutes. After that, rub your feet gently with a pumice stone. Put the feet back into the solution for another 10 minutes before drying them off. Finally, apply petroleum jelly. Repeat this process for three consecutive days to get the desired results. You could also use magnesium-rich dead sea salt for a similar result.
14. Neem Leaves
Neem leaves have fungicidal and antioxidant properties which give them the ability to soothe dry and irritated skin. You should crush the leaves into a fine paste before applying on the cracks. Remember to wash your feet with warm water after 30 minutes. When you use this remedy on a daily basis, you’ll obtain desirable results within a short period of time.
15. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil cleanses and conditions the skin. Mix five drops of coconut oil with one teaspoon of tea tree oil and apply the resultant mixture to the cracked areas. It’s advisable that you cover your feet with a pair of socks.
16. Baking Soda
Baking soda acts as an exfoliant by soothing the skin and sloughing off dead cells. Just dissolve three tablespoons of baking soda in warm water and soak your feet, for 15 minutes, in it. Since baking soda has potent anti-inflammatory properties, you will see positive results after two weeks.
17. Listerine Soak
Listerine softens the hard skin making it easier to scrub off. It also works as an antiseptic. Put one cup of vinegar and one cup of Listerine in a basin. Add two cups of water and then place your feet in the solution for 15 minutes. Scrub to remove the dead skin before moisturizing with oil.
While there is no scientific evidence that sugar contains any essential nutrients for the skin, it’s one of the best skin exfoliating scrub. You should massage your foot twice a day, preferably with brown sugar. You can add a little olive oil or coconut oil to the sugar to act as a skin moisturizer. Be sure to rinse your feet with cold water and moisturize your feet thereafter.
19. Eucalyptus Oil
Just like any other essential oil, eucalyptus encourages the healing process of cracked heels and feet. Just add 5 drops of the oil in warm water and then have a foot soak, in the eucalyptus oil solution, for 10 minutes. Once you are done, moisturize the affected area with Vaseline or olive oil.
20. Castor Oil
Castor oil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Simply apply castor oil on the cracked areas and then cover with cotton socks. Do this every time before going to bed.
21. Egg And Lemon Mask
When egg and lemon are put together, they form a formidable combination for nourishing and softening hard, cracked feet. For best results, you should mix one tablespoon of lemon with egg yolk to make a mask. Soak your feet in water and then apply the mask for about 20 minutes before washing it off. When you do this on a regular basis, cracked heels will be history.
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