No one likes dealing with dry, rough, cracked heels. They don’t feel good, they don’t look good, and they can put a severe damper on your day. When you’re experiencing this dryness, you want to avoid wearing shoes that reveal that cracked skin just below your ankles. Sadly, you’re also forced to turn down any foot massage offers.
Cracked heels can happen to anyone, but they often happen to people who are on their feet for most of the day. The dryness is also especially bad in the cold winter months.
Lucky for you, there’s no need to give up hope until the summer sun returns. There are plenty of steps that you can follow to get rid of cracked heels and improve their look and feel in the process. You’ll be back in your favourite shoes in no time!
1. The causes.
In order to properly deal with your cracked feet, it’s very important to educate yourself on what may be the cause of the problem. This way, you can make the correct changes in order to avoid dealing with the unpleasantness in the future.
The main causes of this problem stem from overly thick skin on the heels caused by friction, improper walking, dehydrated skin, being overweight, and exposure to drying elements like dust.
Some more serious issues that might cause cracked heels are diabetes, a fungal infection, or blood circulation problems.
How you choose to deal with this problem depends on what you may see as the cause. Try to make the appropriate change in your environment, to start. If you think that a more serious health issue is affecting your heels, consult a doctor right away.
2. Change your footwear.
As said before, cracked heels can be caused by thickened skin from too much friction. More often than not, this friction comes from your choice of footwear.
Perhaps your shoes are too tight, too rigid, or they are incorrectly shaped for your foot. In order to rid of your cracked heels, it’s important to address this issue first and foremost.
Seek shoes that fit you well. Also, pay attention to the shoe’s flexibility. If it’s too rigid, it will cause unwanted friction.
It’s also helpful to maintain the hygiene of your shoes. Try to avoid sweating or walking in dirty areas while wearing your comfortable shoes.
You should also wear soft socks whenever possible. Creating an extra layer between your feet and your shoes will protect from the unwelcome rubbing. If you are wearing flip flops, don’t forget extra socks when you go to the bowling alley!
Your footwear is a lot more important than you’d think when it comes to getting rid of cracked heels. From now forward, don’t choose your shoes solely for style. Pay attention to the fit and comfort. It also helps to purchase shoes that you can easily accompany with socks!
3. Soaking treatment.
In order to really tackle that stubborn skin, you need to break down the dead skin cells on your heels. One of the best ways to get this going is by soaking your feet in warm water. Simply fill up your tub partway, or use a bucket. Make sure the water level is high enough to cover your entire foot.
Soak your feet in the water for about 15-20 minutes. You will see the hard skin begin to soften up. If the water loses its heat before your time is up, replace it with fresh warm water.
After soaking, grab a pumice stone, and give the thick skin a rub down. Dead skin should fall off quite easily after the soaking process. If you don’t have one handy, pumice stones can be purchased at any drug or spa store for a relatively affordable price. If you suffer from cracked heels, it’s a great tool to have on-hand.
When using a pumice stone, remember that you should not file the skin down too much! You should be able to feel when you’ve reached the skin worth keeping.
At the very end of this process, moisturize your heels thoroughly to lock in moisture.
4. Exfoliation station.
Exfoliating away the dead skin on your heels on a regular basis is a great way to get rid of this problem.
There are many things that you can use to exfoliate your heels. The first option is to purchase an exfoliating cream. You may also choose to make your own natural exfoliator. Grainy products like sugar or oatmeal are typically used for this.
If you want to use sugar as an exfoliator, add it to some olive or coconut oil to make a paste. Be sure to rinse well after rubbing your heels to avoid stickiness.
If you’d prefer to use oatmeal (a gentler exfoliate), simply add it to a little bit of water, and scrub away!
Whatever you are using, try exfoliating twice daily, preferably after a hot bath or shower when the tough skin is extra soft.
5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Moisturizing your heels on a regular basis is key to keeping them from painful cracking. Moisturizing after exfoliation is the best way to get on the path to relief.
Moisturize your heel area at least three times per day. Using plain old lotion is sufficient, but you should keep on reading to see how you can kick it up a notch with some at-home remedies.
The first remedy that you may want to try is the use of buttermilk. This product is a natural softener of the skin, and can relieve your painful cracked heels. Simply soak a cloth in buttermilk and squeeze out any excess. Lay the cold cloth over your heels for 5-10 minutes. Try this twice daily.
Another great remedy is the use of olive or coconut oil. These are amazing natural moisturizers. Simply dab a thin layer of oil onto your heels, and stay off of your feet for a good 30 minutes. This will allow time for the oil to soak in before you get back on your feet again.
Finally, there’s the use of avocado. Purchase a fully ripe avocado, remove from the skin, and mash it up. Lather the soft paste onto your heels and wrap your feet in plastic bags. Allow the avocado to sit for about 15 minutes. You should stay off of your feet of course during this process!
After your time is up, rinse well. Repeat this process twice per day until you are satisfied with results.
Painfully dry skin is no fun for anybody. Get rid of your cracked heels with these simple yet effective steps. Try various suggestions, or a combination of the methods discussed above. You’re bound to see results. You’ll be back in your favourite sandals in no time!