Cracked heels are a very common problem with everyone. It can range from cosmetic problems to painful issues. Cracked heels and lips worsen in the winter season. Cracked heels are also known as heel fissures which can develop on one feet or on both feet.
Home remedies for crack heels
Proper precautions at the right time can prevent cracks from getting deeper and causing bleeding and severe pain. There are several home remedies for cracked heels that resolve the problem.
Different types of vegetable oils like olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil or any other hydrogenated vegetable oil can be used to cure and prevent cracked heels. These oils should be applied at bedtime and wear socks to give effective results.
This can be used as an exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin from the dry and crack skin. The scrub can be easily made mixing a handful of rice with, honey, apple cider and olive oil. Soak the feet in warm water for 10 minutes and then scrub with the rice flour paste.
It is also known as leaves of need which contain fungicidal properties that are very effective for curing cracked heels. Make a paste of neem leaves and turmeric and apply on the cracks. Leave it for about an hour before washing with warm water.
Lemon helps in reducing the rough skin that can result to cracking. One can apply lemon juice directly on the cracks or soak the feet for 15 minutes in warm water to which lemon juice is added. Clean with pumice stone and soap.
Rosewater and glycerin
Glycerin softens the skin and rosewater adds different vitamins and also serves as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent. A combination of these two ingredients when applied before going to bed serves as a very effective home treatment for cracked heels.
In serious conditions of cracked heels which is bleeding and causes lot of pain paraffin wax gives instant relief. Prepare a mixture of paraffin wax, mustard oil or coconut oil. Heat the mixture until the wax melts and let the mixture cool to room temperature before applying it on your feet.
Cause of cracked heels
- Improper foot care
- Wearing wrong types of shoes.
- Prolonged soaking in hot water
- Unhealthy diet
- Cold windy weather
- Non –moisturized feet
- Dry feet
Symptoms of cracked heels
Dryness & itching
Peeling of skin is the first sign of cracked heels. There can be severe itching on the heel.
Development of vertical lesions
If the skin is very dry there may be small cracks around the edge of the heel.
Pain and tenderness
There may be pain while walking and the heel may feel tender and sore.
Hardening of the skin
When the skin loses moisture, it tends to become hard and tough.
Care for the heels
Take measures if it is severe
When you have identified the cause as per the above symptoms, you should start working out ways to take care of the causes. Change the shoes or get improved quality shoes if the shoes are causing the cracks. If it is diabetes then you have to take control of the ailments and care for your feet all the more. If you have dry skin naturally, then you must make sure that the skin gets enough moisturizer.
Check for infections: You must start caring for your feet by checking for infections. If the heels are swollen or are releasing blood then you must contact your doctor. It is the severe form. If they are cracks that are starting to look hard and scaly, you must start pampering your feet.
Soak your feet in a bucket of warm water
Drop some castor oil or chamomile oil in the water so that the feet are moisturized. The heels may need disinfecting and cider vinegar in the water works for this end.
Exfoliation and moisturizing
Use a cloth and rub the heels. This will take off the dead skins. The water softens the skins and exfoliation removes the dead epidermis. Now your skin is ready to absorb anything that you care to anoint it with. The moisturizing is an important part. Dry the heels and then apply the cream or heel care gels. Make sure it has got lanolin for softening your heels.
Make sure that the heels are covered after excess cream application at night. At day time you will move around and the extra moisturizer may attract dirt and debris. So you can apply the lotion for healing the cracks and keep them covered with socks or gauze. Use cream that has protecting ingredients for cracks. Emollients and humectants are a must in your cream or moisturizer.
If you have any health issues that are causing the cracks and infections, then you must evaluate them. Treat the condition so that you can be sure that it won’t affect your health. Diabetes is one such ailment that can cause dryness of skin in extreme condition.
Never remove the natural oils of your skin
You have a coat of natural oils and these can be removed if you bath in very hot water regularly. You must not use harsh soaps too.
Protection is important
The cold atmosphere can dry the skin. The moisture from your skin moves away and so you must anoint your heels and other parts of the body when it is cold outside. The sun also causes damage to your skin. Protect yourself when you go out in the sun.
The shoes are the culprit for causing the cracks. They rub against your heels and cause scales and cracks. Drinking more water and eating juicy fruits and green vegetables will keep your body hydrated. The vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids are a must for your body to keep it supple. You must also take food that contains vitamin A. Some people who are overweight can also get the heels cracked for the excess weight on the feet. You need to take care of your diet and maintain right weight. Make sure you keep your feet soft and free of initial hardening. Good quality moisturizer and proper care is the only way.