Dry and cracked heels are a common phenomenon that everyone is bound to experience at least once in their lifetime. There are many reasons why they happen. Still, the primary reasons are insufficient water consumption and lack of foot care.
In this article, we will learn about what cracked and dry heels are, why they develop, and how you can overcome them.
What are Dry and Cracked Heels?
Cracked heels are also known as heel fissures, commonly seen on the feet of people of all ages. They are more likely to occur on older people, though, particularly adults. However, the condition may occur in teenagers and, on rare occasions, on children’s feet too.
Dry heels are when the skin of your heels dries up and begins to deteriorate, cake, or change color. Dry heels may develop calluses that need to be removed, that are yellow or brown around the edges, and the skin may form a white or grey layer of thick, dead skin.
In most cases, dry heels are not something to worry about. If your heel is dry, its texture and appearance will change. But, the condition will not qualify as a medical emergency and can be overcome by drinking enough water and using a potent moisturizer.
As time passes, dry heels may develop into cracked heels if not taken care of. Cracked heels begin with shallow fissures, which then progress into deeper fissures and grooves. Slowly, the skin hardens and becomes thicker over time.
If left untreated, these fissures may deepen to a point where they may cause pain. In such cases, a person’s heels will hurt when they stand up, walk around, or put any pressure on them.
In yet more severe cases, cracked heels may develop foot fungus or bacterial infections. In such cases, the person experiencing these symptoms may need medical treatment to overcome. There also many excellent home care treatments that can help in such cases.
Home Remedies for Cracked, Dry Heels
While there are many treatments to choose from, we have handpicked our top favorites and compiled them in a list. Below you will find the absolute best home care therapies for dry, cracked heels, including some options you can try out if your feet have a fungal or bacterial infection.
Salt, Glycerine, and Rose Water
Foot masks can do wonders for your skin. There are many foot masks you can try and make at home, including this one. All you’ll need are the following ingredients: salt, glycerine, and rose water.
Using just three ingredients, you can achieve soft, smooth skin. However, you must pledge to apply the foot mask routinely, or else the results will be negligible.
Here’s what you’ll need
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of glycerine
- 2 teaspoons of rosewater
- Warm water
- Pumice stone/foot scrubber
Typically, you should be able to find all these ingredients at home within your kitchen and bathroom shelves. It is essential that you use an appropriate tool to scrub your feet with, or else the layers of dry, dead skin will not go away.
How to do it:
There are two parts to this method.
First, add raw salt, one tablespoon of glycerine, and one teaspoon of rose water into a small tub of warm water. Make sure the tub is just large enough to fit your feet only. If the tub and water quantity are too large, chances are your ingredients will become too diluted and lose their potency. If this happens, you could get awful results.
Add in the stated ingredients in appropriate quantities and mix them into the water. Next, soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Soaking your feet will help soften up the dry skin. After this, take them out and scrub your feet with the pumice stone or foot scrub to help remove dead skin layers.
Once this is done, you can move on to the next step.
For the second part, mix one spoon of glycerine with one teaspoon of rosewater to make a smooth paste. Apply this onto your cracked heels and leave it on overnight. Wearing sock will help lock in moisture and make your feet extra soft when you wake up in the morning.
Be warned, though. This paste can be rather sticky, so opt for an old pair of socks you won’t mind tossing in the bin in case they get too tainted with the foot mask paste.
Wash off the paste with lukewarm water the next morning, and dry. Drying is important because it reduces the chances of your feet contracting a bacterial or fungal infection, most of which are caused by dampness in between the toes.
This one may come as a surprise to many. Vegetable oil is typically only seen in kitchen recipes. However, you can also use it to cure your foot condition. Vegetable oil contains emollient properties and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. To top it all off, vegetable oil can heal wounds, too.
However, you need to make sure you are using the right kind of oil. Kitchen cooking oil works just fine if you’re on a budget. But, if you can afford to, it may do you well to use raw almond oil instead. Almond oil is not vegetable oil, but it has similar properties and is more potent in some cases. You can use it the exact same way you use vegetable oil.
Other popular options include olive oil and coconut oil, both of which are excellent for treating dry and itchy skin.
How to treat cracked feet with oil:
For this beauty tip, you will need two teaspoons of your chosen oil. First, you will have to wash and dry your feet with clean water and a towel. Make sure your towel is clean and fresh, or else you may end up rubbing on dead skin cells from previous uses if you employ an old, unwashed towel. This can create infections instead of removing them.
Once your feet are clean, apply the oil to the affected area. You can use your hands if you like. In fact, using your hands and fingers instead of a special brush or tool can actually help you reach all the crevices and nooks of your feet.
Don a thick layer of socks and sleep with them on overnight. This will allow the oil time to work its magic on your damaged feet. Be sure to wash your feet as soon as you wake up in the morning, though. Leaving the socks on for too long can cause excessive sweat build-up and promote the chances of contracting a foot infection.
Also, try to use a breathable material. Cotton socks are a great option as they contain natural fibers that help lock the moisture into place without soaking it up into the sock itself. However, even leaving cotton socks on for too long can cause infections, so try and be safe. Do not keep them on for too long, and wash your feet after you take them off!
Continue with this treatment until your feet are fully healed. Healing cracked feet isn’t easy, so
Aloe vera is a common remedy for many things. It has anti-aging properties, healing abilities, and can soothe even the most chapped skin. It can also cure foot fungus and makes for an excellent, fast, and affordable remedy.
Aloe vera has powerful antiseptic properties. It can combat fungi-related problems as well as eliminate bacterial colonies. This is why it is often used on dry and cracked heels, which have become infected over time.
If you’re aiming to soothe your feet with aloe vera, go right ahead. You can use it as a healing ointment in the following way:
Start by soaking your feet in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften up your skin and help the aloe vera gel enter it effectively.
After soaking your feet, take them out and pat dry with a clean towel. Next, apply the aloe vera gel all over your feet, gently rubbing it into your heels and any other damaged areas.
Wear a pair of comfortable socks and go to sleep. Remove them in the morning to reveal soft, supple foot skin. However, you must remember that your feet may not heal in just one go. How fast they recover depends on how traumatized and damaged they are.
Heels with deeper grooves will take longer to heal and will require regular follow-ups with more aloe vera gel and socks.
Our Favorite Option - Love, Lori's Cure for Dry, Cracked Heels
If you’re not looking for a homemade recipe to healed feet, consider investing in a well-reputed product. There are many excellent foot creams and foot soaks or gels available in the market, including the following:
Foot Repair Cream by Love, Lori: This is a popular option that contains tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, and rose extract. It has anti-fungal and soothing properties, making it the perfect option for infected and inflamed feet. It can also cure common foot problems like ringworm, athlete’s foot, and nail psoriasis, as well as a range of bacterial infections. This product will leave your feet smelling good and heal cracked heels thanks to the lush, natural ingredients in it.
Callus Remover Gel by Love, Lori: This callus remover gel will blast away the tiredness from your feet. You can use it with a foot scrubber or pumice stone to help scrub away the dead layers of skin from your feet.
Here is a list of tricks and tips you should keep in mind when practicing foot care:
- Use a moisturizer or petroleum jelly regularly. This will help keep your feet soft and supple. However, these products will only work if you keep your feet clean and free from thick layers of dead skin. If there is too much dead skin build-up present, these products will be unable to penetrate and soften your heels.
- Remember to drink lots of water. Lack of hydration can cause feet to chap and become dry. Using foot moisturizers cannot make up for your lack of hydration. This is because hydration and richness are not the same. They are two different concepts, and where moisturizers like shea butter provide richness, they cannot hydrate your skin and will not do much to overcome your dry feet.
- Wearing shoes inside the house can help prevent your feet from damage, especially if the floors in your home are rough, grooved, or dusty. Consider purchasing a pair of exclusive home slippers that you can wear around your living space to help protect your feet.
- Use an exfoliator to remove dead skin. Exfoliating twice a week should be enough, especially if you’re using a particularly harsh product. You can always choose between using a gentle exfoliator or a more powerful one depending on your needs. Exfoliators can remove dead skin cells from your heels and leave them feeling soft and smooth. You can even use most of these without the need for a pumice stone or scrubber.
- Epsom salt foot soaks also known to help treat dry feet. However, be sure to use a small, regulated amount of Epsom salt inside your warm water tub. Using too much of it can have unwanted side effects, including diarrhea.
- Dry your feet! Damp feet are the gateway to infections of all kinds. This is because bacteria and fungi thrive in damp atmospheres and begin to replicate in them. As a result, your feet may become infected and extremely foul-smelling, which is unbecoming on anyone.
- Wear socks when possible. Socks can soak up excess moisture, especially that which is generated from sweat. People living in warmer climates should strive to keep their feet extra clean and wear socks whenever they choose to wear closed shoes, like office shoes or joggers.
If you use these tips, your feet are bound to become soft and dreamlike. Just keep on practicing these drills and prioritize hygiene and self-care to make sure your feet remain fabulous even as your age.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can overcome the issue of dry and chapped skin. Dry heels are extremely common and are often the result of a lack of attention and continuous negligence towards your feet.
Personal grooming and looking out for foot health are important, and without it, your skin will suffer. In extreme cases, you may even develop an infection. Infections, whether fungal or bacterial, are usually caused by dampness in between your toes, or other parts of your foot. To avoid them, make sure you keep your feet clean and dry at all times. Try wearing socks to help soak up excess moisture.
However, if you do end up with a fungal or bacterial infection, try using aloe vera to heal it. If you’d rather go with a packaged product, do consider Love, Lori’s Foot Repair Cream.
Taking regular baths or showers can help you, too. Good hygiene goes a long way to curing foot problems.
Taking care of your feet will pay off. Just use the treatments mentioned above to overcome your foot problems. If you practice these methods religiously, your heels will be cured in no time!