How to get rid of cracked heels
How to get rid of cracked heels

Cracked heels, medically known as heel fissures, are a common foot ailment that affects people of all ages. These painful and unsightly cracks occur when the skin on your heels becomes dry, thick, and sometimes even split. While they may not pose a significant health risk, they can be a nuisance and a source of discomfort. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the causes of cracked heels and explore a plethora of effective remedies and preventive measures to ensure your feet stay smooth and healthy.

Understanding the Causes

Identifying the Culprits

Cracked heels can be attributed to a variety of factors, and understanding these causes is the first step in finding an effective solution.

1. Dry Skin

One of the primary causes of cracked heels is excessively dry skin. When the skin on your heels lacks moisture, it becomes brittle and prone to cracking.

Dry skin can be caused by various factors, such as low humidity, frequent exposure to water, or even certain medical conditions like eczema.

2. Prolonged Standing

Spending long hours on your feet can put extra pressure on your heels. The constant strain on your heels can cause the skin to thicken and eventually crack.

Jobs that require prolonged standing, like teaching, nursing, or retail, can make individuals more susceptible to this condition.

3. Improper Footwear

The shoes you wear play a significant role in the health of your feet. Ill-fitting or unsupportive footwear can contribute to the development of cracked heels.

High heels, sandals with no arch support, and open-back shoes can exacerbate the problem by increasing friction and pressure on your heels.

4. Harsh Weather

Extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold, can have detrimental effects on your skin. In very hot weather, your skin may lose moisture rapidly, while in cold weather, the lack of humidity can lead to dryness.

Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight without proper protection can worsen the condition.

5. Skin Conditions

Certain skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can make you more prone to cracked heels. These conditions often affect the skin's ability to retain moisture, leading to dryness and cracking.

Understanding the underlying causes is essential as it allows you to address the root of the problem and choose the most appropriate remedies and preventive measures.

Remedies for Smooth Heels

DIY Solutions at Home

Taking care of your feet doesn't need to be an expensive or time-consuming affair. Many effective remedies can be done in the comfort of your home.

1. Soak Your Feet

A simple yet highly effective remedy is to soak your feet in warm water. This helps soften the skin and makes it easier to remove dead skin cells.

To make the foot soak even more relaxing and beneficial, consider adding Epsom salt or a few drops of essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil.

The Procedure:

  1. Fill a basin or tub with warm water.
  2. Add a handful of Epsom salt or a few drops of essential oil.
  3. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Gently scrub your heels with a pumice stone to remove dead skin.

2. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is a crucial step in getting rid of cracked heels. By removing dead skin, you not only improve the appearance of your heels but also encourage healthier skin growth.

The Procedure:

  1. After soaking your feet, gently scrub your heels with a pumice stone.
  2. Make sure to do this in a circular motion, applying light pressure.
  3. Continue for a few minutes until you feel a noticeable difference in the texture of your skin.
  4. Rinse your feet and pat them dry.

3. Moisturize Regularly

Regular moisturization is key to keeping your skin hydrated and preventing further cracking.

The Procedure:

  1. After exfoliating, pat your feet dry gently.
  2. Apply a thick, hydrating foot cream or petroleum jelly to your heels.
  3. Put on a pair of clean cotton socks to lock in the moisture.
  4. Do this before bedtime to allow the moisturizer to work its magic overnight.

4. Wear Appropriate Footwear

Selecting the right footwear is crucial in preventing cracked heels. Supportive, comfortable shoes are your best allies.

The Procedure:

  1. Invest in well-fitting shoes with adequate arch support.
  2. Avoid open-back shoes and high heels for extended periods.
  3. Make sure your shoes are made of breathable materials to prevent excessive sweating and moisture buildup.

5. Hydrate

Hydrating your body from the inside is just as important as applying external treatments.

The Procedure:

  1. Drink an adequate amount of water daily. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining skin health.
  2. Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, into your diet.
  3. Consume foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, as they promote healthy skin.

Professional Help

In some cases, home remedies may not be sufficient, and it's advisable to seek the assistance of a healthcare professional.

1. Podiatrist Consultation

A podiatrist is a specialized foot doctor who can diagnose the root cause of your cracked heels and recommend appropriate treatment.

The Procedure:

  1. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist if your cracked heels are severe or recurrent.
  2. The podiatrist will conduct a thorough examination and may recommend additional tests.
  3. Based on their assessment, they will suggest tailored treatment options.

2. Prescription Creams

For more severe cases, a podiatrist or dermatologist may prescribe medicated creams or ointments to help heal the cracks and hydrate the skin.

The Procedure:

  1. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully when using prescription creams.
  2. These creams often contain ingredients that promote skin repair and hydration.

3. Paraffin Wax Treatment

Paraffin wax treatments are a luxurious spa option that provides deep hydration and relief for cracked heels.

The Procedure:

  1. This treatment is usually done at a spa or clinic.
  2. Your feet are dipped in warm, melted paraffin wax.
  3. The wax is allowed to cool and harden before being removed.
  4. This treatment can provide immediate relief and hydration.

Preventing Future Cracks

Prevention is the key to maintaining smooth heels once you've treated the issue.

1. Regular Foot Care

After you've successfully treated your cracked heels, don't let your guard down. Continue to moisturize and exfoliate your feet regularly to prevent a recurrence.

The Procedure:

  1. Set up a foot care routine that includes regular exfoliation and moisturization.
  2. Make this a part of your weekly self-care regimen to ensure your heels stay smooth.

2. Stay Hydrated

Maintaining overall skin health starts from within. Staying hydrated helps keep your skin, including your heels, healthy.

The Procedure:

  1. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
  2. Carry a reusable water bottle to remind yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day.

3. Choose the Right Footwear

Investing in comfortable, supportive shoes is essential in preventing future heel issues.

The Procedure:

  1. When shopping for shoes, ensure they are the correct size and provide good arch support.
  2. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or have hard, inflexible soles.

4. Use Heel Balms

Specialty heel balms and creams can help maintain skin moisture and prevent dryness.

The Procedure:

  1. Apply a heel balm specifically designed for cracked heels to your feet regularly.
  2. Follow the product's instructions for the best results.

5. Watch Your Diet

A balanced diet can significantly impact the health of your skin, including your feet.

The Procedure:

  1. Incorporate foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, such as carrots, citrus fruits, and almonds.
  2. Include omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts in your diet.

Cracked heels can be a painful and embarrassing problem, but with the right care and attention, you can achieve soft and smooth heels once more. Whether you opt for DIY solutions or seek professional help, the key is consistency and preventive measures to ensure your heels stay healthy and pain-free.

Can drinking cold water be harmful to health? Know expert advice

Exploring the Gaza Hospital Blast: Top 10 Key Highlights

Avoid These Mistakes to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Today

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News