A common foot problem most of us have is dry cracked feet. The ugly cracks on your heels are definitely an eyesore. Imagine wanting to wear a hot n sexy mid-thigh evening dress with lovely stilettos BUT for the cracked heels.
There are OTC remedies in the form of creams and lotions, but what is needed is proper cracked heels treatment, not a stop-gap solution.
Read on to find out the common causes of cracked heels and best dry feet remedies that can keep problems related to dry cracked heels or severely cracked heels at bay.
Common Causes Of Dry Cracked Feet
The first sign of dry cracked feet is when you get dry thickened skin – the ‘calluses’ around your heels. When you walk, there is an expansion of the fat pad under your heel. This makes the calluses crack.
Is this the only cause behind dry cracked heels?
Nope. There are other factors too such as:
- When you are standing for long hours
- When you are walking barefoot or with sandals that are open at the back
- When you are taking long and hot showers
- When you are using harsh soaps which can strip your skin of natural oils
- When you are wearing ill-fitting shoes that don’t support your heels
- When you are down with dry skin due to the winter season
If you don’t moisturize your feet properly and regularly, then expect dry skin on feet.
Medical Causes Of Dry Cracked Feet
Diabetes symptoms e.g. poor blood circulation and high blood sugar are the culprits that lead to dry skin and therefore dry cracked feet.
Nerve damage can also prevent you from knowing that you are prone to dry cracked feet. Other conditions that also lead to dry skin on feet are:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Fungal infection
Popular Remedies For Dry Cracked Feet:
Try them. They work.
1. Use Heel Balms:
A heel balm is the best cure for cracked heels. And why not? They have the ingredients to hydrate, soothe, and rejuvenate skin. Make sure the heel balm brand you chose has the following – urea, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids and saccharide isomerate.
Such heel balms can be bought online or OTC.
Tips for applying heel balm:
- Apply it after a shower to make your feet feel soft throughout the day
- Moisturize your dry cracked heels thrice a day
- Opt for covered shoes
There is a possibility of heel balms causing irritation or minor stinging. Don’t worry about it as it’s a common complain But if the heel balm irritates your skin or triggers an allergy, then see a doctor ASAP.
If it is a severe case, then the doctor might prescribe a medicated ointment with steroids for topical application.
2. Use A Foot Soak And Scrub
Did you know, the skin on our feet is drier and thicker than on the other parts of our body? And it is this very skin which cracks under pressure. A foot soak followed by a moisturizing regimen is one of the most popular cracked heels treatment.
For a foot soak, here are some tips –
- Prepare lukewarm soapy water.
- Soak your feet in it for 15 minutes or more.
- Pick a loofah, pumice stone or foot scrubber to exfoliate the dull skin on your feet.
- Dry your feet gently using a towel.
- Now slather a thick layer of heel balm on your cracked heels.
- Apply petroleum jelly on your soles to lock in moisture.
- Wear socks thereafter.
When your feet are dry, avoid using foot scrubs as they can damage your skin.
Heard of the healing powers of the HEEL SLEEVES? Try them. They work like a magical foot soak! The heel sleeves are very much like socks. They have a therapeutic mix of essential oils and vitamin E to treat dry cracked feet.
3. Apply A Liquid Bandage
When you do so on the dry cracked heels, it helps seal-and-heal the wounds. Plus it prevents any future infections or cracks.
The liquid bandage comes in the form of a spray and is super-convenient to use. In fact, a liquid bandage is the best bet to heal painful heel cracks. It can prevent your cracks from bleeding too!
4. Use Honey
Talk of dry feet remedies and honey is an excellent natural one for cracked heels. This is thanks to its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Honey not only cleanses and heal wounds, but it also moisturizes the skin.
Use honey as a foot scrub or an overnight mask.
5. Use Coconut Oil
This too is an easily available home cure for dry skin on feet and dry cracked feet. It helps hydrate your skin. You can apply it after a shower.
6. Alternate Home Treatments:
The ones listed below moisturize and soften the dry skin (though not 100 percent effective in treating cracked heels).
- For ‘foot soak’ try adding vinegar to the tub of water.
- For ‘moisturizing try Olive oil/vegetable oil/shea butter/ mashed bananas.
- For exfoliation use a mix of oatmeal and oil.
- To seal in moisture try applying Paraffin wax.
How To Prevent Dry Cracked Feet?
In this case, all that matters is your footwear. If you are down with dry cracked feet go for shoes that have a good fit and provide some cushioning to your heels.
Footwear to Avoid:
- Footwear like flip-flops and sandals expose your feet and allow your skin to become dry and damaged.
- Avoid shoes that are open at the back as they cannot provide requisite support to your heels
- Do not use stilettos as wearing them for long hours can put excessive stress on your heels
- Stay away from ill-fitting shoes!
Top 9 Tips To Avoid Cracked Heels
- Do not stand in one position or cross your legs and sit for a long time.
- Apply loads of heel balm and wear your socks before hitting the sack.
- If you are a diabetic you may suffer from skin problems related to dryness. Remember, to inspect your feet daily.
- Use shoe inserts to provide support to your heels and prevent any duress.
- Wear padded socks. Try out clinically-tested socks too.
- Try heel cups with a silicone cushion to hydrate your heels and soothe the dry skin on your feet.
- Have plenty of water and fluids to hydrate your skin well.
- Using a pumice stone while bathing is a good habit to exfoliate the dead skin on your feet.
- Do not try to remove calluses on your own especially if you are suffering from diabetes or neuropathy.
In many cases, cracked heels aren’t cause for concern. You may be able to relieve the condition with over-the-counter or home remedies.
See a doctor if you have a severe case of cracked heels or underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. It’s important to see a doctor to prevent potentially serious complications.
Although your skin may show signs of improvement after initial treatment, it may take several days or weeks for the cracks to heal.
During and after this time, wear shoes that fit properly and practice proper foot care to help prevent new heel cracks.
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