You must have noticed your mother having cracked heels and constantly feel an irritation when it comes in contact with water. The skin on the feet tends to become drier as there are no oil glands present there. This dryness causes the skin to crack. Lack of moisturization, over exposure to pollution, and some medical conditions such as eczema, diabetes, thyroid, and psoriasis lead to dry and cracked feet. One survey found that 20 percent of adults in the United States experience cracked skin on their feet. This can occur in both adults and children, and seems to affect women more often than men. For most people, having cracked heels isn’t serious. It may cause discomfort when going barefoot. In some cases, cracks in the heels can become very deep and cause pain. It causes same discomfort as chapped lips in winters.
Causes of cracked heels
10 Home remedies for cracked heels
1. Lemon, salt, glycerine, rose water foot mask
Take a basin of warm water and add raw salt. Add 8 to 10 drops of lemon juice, one tablespoon of glycerine, and one teaspoon of rosewater. Soak your feet for about 15-20 minutes in this water. Using a pumice stone or a foot scrubber, scrub your heels and the sides of the feet. Mix one teaspoon of glycerine, one teaspoon of rosewater, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply the mixture on your cracked heels. Since this will be a sticky mixture, you can wear a pair of socks and leave it on overnight. Wash off with lukewarm water in the morning. You can repeat this treatment for few days till your heels become soft.
2. Oil massage (almond oil, olive or neem oil) for cracked heels
ils are natural moisturizers and several of them are especially effective for thick, cracked heels. Mixing a variety of moisturizing oils helps to increase the speed at which the heels soften. Massage your heels with a mixture of the following oils:
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Neem oil
- Sesame oil
Take about 10 minutes to thoroughly massage your feet, paying the most attention to your heels and other cracked areas. After you massage the oils in put on a pair of thick cotton socks so that the oils continue to go to work. It is best to do this right before bed so that the oils work as you sleep.
3. Apply Honey for dry heels
Honey may work as a natural remedy for cracked heels. Honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research shows that honey can help heal and cleanse wounds, and moisturize the skin. You can use honey as a foot scrub after a soak, or apply it as a foot mask overnight.
4. Vaseline and lemon juice as a remedy for cracked heels
Soak your feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Mix one teaspoon of Vaseline and a few drops of lemon juice. Rub this mixture over your heels and other cracked parts of the feet till it gets absorbed into the skin. Apply this mixture and wear a pair of woolen socks. Keep it on overnight and wash off in the morning. Woolen socks help trap the body’s heat and increase the effectiveness of the mixture.
5. Fruit Mask for bleeding dried heels
Fruits contain compounds and enzymes that can help to soften and soothe cracked heels. These elements work to essentially eat away all the dry skin without harming the healthy tissue, revealing smooth and soft feet. Create a paste with one banana, half a coconut’s worth of coconut flesh and a half of an avocado. Once the paste is ready, apply it to your feet and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Once your feet are clean, pat them dry and apply a thick moisturizer.
6. Rice Flour To Cure Cracked Heels
Take two to three tablespoons of ground rice and add a few drops of honey and apple cider vinegar to make a thick paste. If your heels are extremely dry and cracked, you can add a teaspoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and gently scrub it with this paste to remove dead skin from your feet. You can apply this foot scrub twice a week. Rice flour exfoliates, purifies, and rejuvenates the skin, making it satin-smooth and soft.
7. Listerine Soak For Cracked Heels
Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in the liquid mix containing the above mentioned ingredients. Remove your feet and scrub using the foot file or pumice stone to slough off the dead skin. Rinse with clean water, pat dry, and moisturize. Soaking your feet in Listerine will soften the hardened dead skin and make it easier to be scrubbed off. Listerine is also an antiseptic and soothes the skin because of the phytochemicals like menthol and thymol that are usually present in it.
8. Baking Soda For Cracked bleeding Heels
Baking soda is a commonly used exfoliant. It removes dead cells and also soothes the skin as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Fill 2/3rd of the bucket with warm water and add the baking soda. Mix well until the baking soda dissolves in the water. Soak your feet in this for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove your feet from the soak and scrub gently with the pumice stone. Rinse with clean water.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar For Cracked Heels
The mild acids present in ACV will soften the dry and dead skin, making it easy to exfoliate. Once exfoliated, the fresh and healthy skin is revealed. Fill the basin with enough water to soak your feet in – about three to four cups. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix it well. Soak your feet in the water for about 15 minutes and scrub afterwards to remove the dead skin.
10. Aloevera a remedy for dried heels
Aloe vera soothes dry and dead skin. It heals the ridges and cracks that have formed and increases collagen synthesis. The amino acids present in it are responsible for the skin-softening action. Soak your feet in lukewarm water for a few minutes. Pat dry and apply aloe vera gel liberally on your feet. Wear socks and leave the gel on your feet overnight. Repeat this every night for four to five days and you will notice a vast difference in your feet.
You can also prepare home made foot ointment to prevent from cracked heels.
HOMEMADE FOOT OINTMENT
You can make your own ointment that you can apply to your heels with the following ingredients:
- One-fourth cup of Shea butter
- Three tablespoons of beeswax
- Two tablespoons of boiling water
- One-fourth cup of coconut oil
- One-fourth cup of magnesium flakes
Apply this ointment before bed and put on a pair of thick cotton socks so that it stays in place and can absorb into the skin as you sleep.
Everyday skin care for feet
• Avoid harsh soaps on your feet
Harsh soaps that are heavily fragranced or contain strong chemicals may dry skin out more. Try a gentle, fragrance-free or unscented, non-irritating cleanser.
• Don’t scrub your feet too hard
With proper care as mentioned above and relaxation, it takes about 7-14 days to see the first signs of healing. This depends on how badly your heels are cracked, if you are suffering from skin issues like psoriasis and eczema, or medical problems like diabetes and hormonal imbalance.
There are many ways to accelerate the healing process of your cracked feet. The most effective ones are keeping your feet well moisturized, not exposing them to pollution, relaxing your feet, taking natural oil-based foot massages, soaking your feet in warm water with some lemon juice added to it, and treating medical conditions, skin problems, and obesity.