Cracked Heels are also called heel fissures, it is one of the common foot problems caused by various reasons from diabetes to not drinking a sufficient amount of water. Luckily, there are many proven home remedies for cracked heels. Cracked heels are caused by dry skin which is accompanied by thick skin and sometimes it looks yellow or brown around the edge of the heel. When it comes to cracked heels, the look is the big problem most of the time, but when the cracks get infected, it leads to severe painful infections.
If the cracks are very deep, it will be very painful and cause bleeding while standing. In winter, the cracks in the heel will develop and get worse, so it is very important to take some remedies as soon as you feel discomfort.
At first, you can simply start by moisturizing the heel and use some home remedies to treat cracks in the heel. If you are experiencing redness, soreness, severe pain, and swelling in your foot for more than a day, you should see the doctor.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Cracked heels are generally caused when the skin around the heel splits to balance the pressure in the feet. For Example, if you are standing the whole day, the pressure in the feet is a reason for the cracked heel. The cracked heels affect children and adults, but it is highly possible with women than men.
If your skin is dry, there may be a chance of increasing the crack in your feet due to the dead skin development called callus. If you are using backless shoes, it increases the friction in the cracked heel, which is also one of the reasons to increase the cracked heel.
Lack of hydration and unsuitable shoes also cause dry skin that starts to crack. Some of the medical conditions like fungal infections, diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, and obesity also cause cracked heels. Anyhow, cracked heels are common for healthy people also. Having thick skin on the heel is unattractive for some reason. Actually, dry skin on the feet is a protection for the tissues. Without the dry skin, the horny layer of the skin will harden, so completely removing the dry skin is not a good idea and it is not possible either.
Best Home Remedies For Cracked Heels
Soak The Feet For Once A Week
Simply soaking the feet once a week by using rich nourishing cream is the best way to keep your skin soft and hydrated. For soaking, you should use warm water because hot water makes your skin dry. Some people like to add fresh lemon juice while foot soaking because the acids in the fruit helps to easily remove the dry skin cells.
Here are some of the tips for foot soak:
- Keep your feet in the warm water for at least 20 minutes.
- Use a foot scrubber, loofah, or pumice stone to remove thick skin.
- Gently pat your feet dry.
- Gently apply the thick moisturizer or heel balm on the affected area.
- Apply petroleum jelly on the feet to maintain the moisture on the skin.
Don’t scrub your feet when it is dry, it may increase the risk of damaged skin.
Thick Moisturizer or Heel Balms
Using Heel balm is the basic step of the cracked heel treatment. Usually, the chemical content in the heel balm will soften, moisturize, and exfoliate the dead skin. Some of the heel balms may cause irritation and sting, but it is normal. If the heel balm causes any severe reactions like inflammation, itching or redness then you have to consult your doctor for better treatment. In some severe cases of cracked heels, doctors prescribe a strong steroid cream or heel balm that helps to get relief from itchiness and reduce inflammation.
You can also use the liquid bandage on the cracks to protect the wounds from infection and avoid further cracking. Liquid bandages come in the form of a spray, so you can enjoy your day without worrying about the bandage coming off. Liquid bandage is the best choice to treat the bleeding and deeply cracked heels. Applying a liquid bandage will clean the dry skin. Some people recommend super glue to close the crack skin. But the super glues available in the markets are toxic, so it is better to consult with your doctor before using them.
Coconut oil is highly recommended for dry skin, so it is an excellent remedy to treat cracked heels. It will help to keep your skin moist. Coconut oil is rich in natural protein and vitamin E that helps to cure damaged skin cells. The natural lauric acid in coconut oil holds its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, so it helps to treat the infected and bleeding cracks. It is recommended to use coconut oil after bathing to get the maximum result because bathing will moisturize your skin and coconut oil will lock that moisture..
Honey is a natural remedy for cracked heels. It is considered a natural humectant, which means it pulls the water from the inner tissues to the outer layer of the skin. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey help clean and heal wounds and lock the moisture in the skin.
You can also use honey with the rice flour and vinegar as a foot scrub or you can apply it as a foot mask overnight. Mix one tsp of honey with 3 tsp of rice flour and 3 drops of apple cider vinegar. Stir the mixture to form a paste. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and gently scrub your feet by using this paste to remove the dead cells. Doing this method of 2 to 3 times per week will provide a quick remedy from cracked heels.
Vinegar and Listerine
Vinegar contains mild acid content that will soften the dry and dead skin that makes it easy to exfoliate. Listerine contains alcohol and thymol that effectively fight against toenail fungus. Listerine also helps to soothe skin, cure cracked feet, and treat plantar warts.
Mix one cup of vinegar and one cup of Listerine with 2 cups of water. Soak your feet in that mixture for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes scrub your feet using a pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells. Then wash your feet with clean water and moisturize them. Repeating this process everyday will quickly heal the cracked heels.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is a rich source of vitamins like A, C, and E, which offer antioxidant properties. Moreover, the campesterol, cholesterol, lupeol, β-sitosterol content in the aloe vera ensures the anti-inflammatory properties. Lupeol also acts as an analgesic and antiseptic. Due to these medicinal properties, aloe vera gel will help to heal the cracked heel and prevent the wounds from infection.
The gibberellins and auxins in the aloe vera will help to heal the wounds. Soak your feet in the warm water and scrub them to remove the dead cells by using a pumice stone. Pat the feet using a soft towel and apply this layer of aloe vera gel on the feet. Wear cotton socks before going to bed and wash your feet using lukewarm water in the morning. You can see a good result by repeating this process for 4 to 5 days.
Baking soda is an exfoliant that helps to remove dead cells from the skin. Baking soda has a good amount of anti-inflammatory properties, so it also helps to protect wounds from infection.
Add 3 tbsp of baking soda in lukewarm water and stir it well until the baking soda dissolves. Soak your feet in that water for 15 minutes, and scrub your feet using the pumice stone. Wash the feet using clean water and pat them with a soft towel. Doing this process twice per week will help to maintain moisturized skin. Moreover, baking soda also helps to neutralize the foul odor.
Lemon Juice with Vaseline
Lemon has citric acid that promotes the peeling of dead cells and the regrowth of new cells on the skin. Using lemon juice on the skin is considered one of the best home remedies from ancient times. Vaseline acts as a moisturizer, it helps to maintain moisturized skin. Soak your feet in the warm water for at least 20 minutes then rinse and pat using a soft cloth.
Mix 3 to 4 drops of fresh lemon juice with one tsp of vaseline. Apply this mixture on the cracked heels. Wear woolen socks and allow the mixture to set for the whole night. Wash the feet using warm water in the morning. Regularly doing this process before going to bed will help to quickly heal the cracked heels.
Epsom salt will help to soften the skin and reduce inflammation on the skin. The sulfates remove the toxins and dead cells from the skin. It will ease the pain and help to remove harmful substances from the body. Epsom salt is always recommended as a natural home remedy. This natural remedy is commonly found in our kitchen. Add half a cup of Epsom salt in warm water and stir it until the salt dissolves. Soak your feet for 15 minutes and scrub to remove dead cells.
How To Avoid Cracked Heels
Avoid showers and baths making worse dry heel skin
People who have dry skin should avoid using hot or warm water to bathe. Bathing or showering in cool water for 5 to 10 minutes will help to avoid moisture loss. It is better to use a fragrance-free mild cleanser and gently blot the skin by using a towel.
Apply the Moisturizer after bathing
You should immediately use a moisturizer on the feet to lock the moisture on the skin after a shower, bath, or foot soak. It is better to use creams or ointment because it is more effective than lotions and causes less skin irritation. Moreover, cream and ointments contain shea butter or oil, which is good for dry skin.
Avoid Harsh Soaps And Fragrant Skin Care Products
This is a very important thing to consider to keep the cracked heels dry, clean, and free from infection. Harsh soap dries out the skin, so using a mild cleanser will help to lock the moisture in the skin. Alternatively, you can also use emollient products in the shower and bath. Skincare products that contain alcohol, fragrance, alpha hydroxy acid, and retinoids are harsh for sensitive and dry skin, so avoiding these products will keep the oil in your skin.
Wear Closed-Heel Shoes
Wearing closed heel boots or shoes will help to prevent and heal the cracks in your heel. Wearing shoes with cotton socks will help to reduce friction. It maintains the moisture and allows your skin to breathe which helps to prevent your skin from drying out.
In most cases, cracked heels are not a problem to consider. You can easily treat it by using natural home remedies and skin moisturizers. People should ensure that they are using moisturizer daily on their feet to prevent cracked heels. It is recommended to see the doctors based on your medical conditions like diabetes.
In some severe cases of cracked heels, it is also advisable to see a specialist to prevent the infections. In both home remedies or prescribed medicines, the skin will show improvement in initial treatment and it may take several days or weeks to heal. After this healing process, wearing proper fitting shoes and doing proper foot care will help to prevent new foot cracks.