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Cracked heels are a common problem, especially during the cold, dry winter months. While you may be able to hide them with socks and boots, they can still make the simple act of walking extremely painful.
Using your regular lotions and moisturizers may not effectively provide relief. If left untreated, they can even become infected. Fortunately, there are several home remedies for cracked heels that work by hydrating and softening the skin.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Cracked heels can be caused due to a variety of factors.
The skin around the heels lacks elasticity, making it dry, rough, and chapped. If you have naturally dry skin, the skin around the heels is more susceptible to cracking. Dry weather contributes to the problem.
During winters, because the humidity levels are low, lack of hydration can leave the skin drier and even more likely to crack.
Taking hot regular showers in winter exacerbates this problem.
Wearing improper footwear, such as shoes that are too tight or don’t provide enough support, can constrict the blood flow causing the skin on your heels to dry and crack faster.
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and eczema, can leave the skin on your feet more prone to dryness and cracking.
The #1 Secret To Treating Cracked Heals With Home Remedies
There are several natural oils and lotions that are very effective for treating cracked heels. However, there is one very important step you must include in your foot care routine before applying any of these moisturizers. And that secret step is to soak your feet in warm water.
Here’s why soaking your feet is so important when treating cracked heels.
Cracked heels are often accompanied by a layer of thick, hard skin called a callus, which slows the healing process. This thick callus is impermeable and doesn’t allow the skin to absorb the nourishing ingredients, making them ineffective in treating cracks.
Soaking your feet in warm, mild soapy water for about thirty minutes softens the skin and is the best thing you can do to speed up the healing process and treat dry, cracked heels.
You can add Epsom salt to the warm water though this is optional. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells and promote healing. To use Epsom salt for cracked heels, simply add a few tablespoons of it to warm water and soak your feet for 20 – 30 minutes.
After thirty minutes, gently rub damp heels with a pumice stone or foot scraper to remove the topmost layer of dry skin.
Avoid the temptation to rub too hard to get rid of deep cracks. This can increase the risk of bleeding and infections.
A better alternative is to repeat the process 2 or 3 times a week and gently scrub off the topmost layer. With time, you will get rid of the top layers of dry skin, revealing the inner softer layers of skin.
Dry your feet with a clean dry towel and pamper them with a thick layer of any of the moisturizers listed below.
Best Natural Moisturizers To Treat Cracked Heels
You will need thicker, creamier lotions to keep the skin on the heels sufficiently moisturized. These are the most effective options.
1. Petroleum Jelly
Emollient-rich petroleum jelly is the best home remedy for cracked heels. The emollients work to lock in natural oils and moisture that the skin needs.
To use petroleum jelly, apply a thick layer over the heels before bed and put on a pair of socks to keep it in place overnight. Keep the socks on overnight, or for as long as possible, to promote healing.
2. Fractionated Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great home remedy for cracked heels. It is full of nourishing fatty acids that can help moisturize and protect the skin.
To use coconut oil for cracked heels, simply massage it into your feet and leave it on overnight.
You can also add a few drops of skin-friendly essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil, for added benefits. Both oils also have anti-bacterial properties, which can help prevent infection if you have deep cracks.
3. Raw Honey
Raw honey is a natural antibacterial and antifungal that is very effective for soothing and healing cracked heels.
To use honey for cracked heels, spread a thin layer on each heel and massage gently for an antimicrobial, antioxidant-rich home remedy that naturally speeds healing.
Wear a pair of socks to keep the honey from rubbing off on your sheet.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer that can help soothe and heal cracked heels.
To use aloe vera for cracked heels, simply massage a thick layer over your feet and leave it on overnight. Wear a pair of socks to prevent the gel from rubbing off on your sheets.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural exfoliant that can help remove dead skin cells and promote healing.
To use baking soda for cracked heels, mix it with a few drops of lemon juice and massage it into your feet.
Healing Fruit Pack Recipes
Using homemade fruit packs is a simple, affordable and natural way to treat cracked heels.
Use any of the recipes below to make your own fruit pack. Apply the pack over your heels and put on socks to keep the pack in place. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes before washing it off. To finish off, dry your feet and apply moisturizer.
Fruit pack recipe #1 – Mash a banana, add 1/2 teaspoon honey, and gently massage the banana-honey healing fruit pack into the skin over and around the heels.
Fruit pack recipe #2 – Mash a ripe avocado, add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and rub it onto your heels. Leave the healing fruit pack for at least 20 minutes before washing and moisturizing your feet. Avocado is rich in fatty oils and vitamin E, both of which are good for dry skin.
Fruit pack recipe #3 – Mash a ripe papaya, rub it onto your heels, and allow it to remain for at least 20 minutes before washing and moisturizing your feet.
You can leave most food-based home remedies on your feet overnight for faster symptom relief, but you may want to protect your bed and blankets with an extra sheet in case you lose your socks while you sleep.
Your kitchen is full of home remedies for cracked heels, but other at-home treatments are also available.
Healing Pharmacy Finds
Liquid bandages are a must-have if cracked heels are painful. Use the liquid bandages according to the instructions on the package, and replace your socks at least twice a day to keep the area clean and dry.
You also need to use a moisturizer to prevent the dry skin that causes cracked heels. Opt for heel balm that contains rich emollients like shea butter, or stick with petroleum jelly if you want reliable moisturizing power.
Paraffin wax is also a simple treatment option. Melt the paraffin wax with an equal amount of coconut oil, then apply the mixture to each heel to form a protective layer over the cracked areas. Wear socks and leave the mixture on overnight for a super-moisturizing home remedy that can provide dry skin relief in just one treatment.
How To Prevent Cracked Heels
The best way to prevent cracked heels is to keep your feet hydrated and moisturized.
Exfoliating feet regularly helps by preventing the buildup of dry dead skin cells, which lead to cracked heels.
Make sure to wear comfortable, supportive shoes that fit properly and use natural home remedies, such as coconut oil, petroleum jelly, honey, aloe vera, lemon juice, Epsom salt, baking soda, and tea tree oil.
You should also avoid hot showers and exfoliate your feet regularly.
Lifestyle Changes That Help Prevent Cracked Heels
In addition to home remedies, there are several lifestyle changes that can help soothe and heal cracked heels.
Here are some of the best lifestyle changes for cracked heels:
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight or don’t provide enough support can cause the skin on your heels to become dry and cracked. Make sure to wear comfortable and supportive shoes that fit properly.
Moisturize your feet daily: Make sure to moisturize your feet regularly to keep them hydrated and prevent cracked heels.
Avoid hot showers: Hot water can dry out the skin on your feet, so make sure to use lukewarm water instead.
Exfoliate your feet: Make sure to exfoliate your feet regularly to remove dead skin cells and promote healing.
Cracked heels can be embarrassing and painful, but they don’t have to be. With the right home remedies and lifestyle changes, you can soothe and heal your cracked heels and prevent them from coming back.
Use these home remedies to treat cracked heels and follow the tips for preventing cracked heels to keep your feet looking and feeling their best.
If your cracked heels do not improve with home remedies, it’s important to see a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of your cracked heels and provide more targeted treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional before trying any new skincare products or treatments. See Full Disclaimer here.