How to prevent and remedy your cracked heels
Posted 19th January 2016
Cracked heels are one of the main foot complaints for women, with a study from the College of Podiatry showing 45% suffer from them – second only to blisters.
Not only can they be unsightly, but also painful. They come about for a variety of reasons, from skin conditions to external factors like sun, central heating and soaps.
How to prevent cracked heels
Your prevention programme should start before you notice any warning signs - but if you do start to notice dry skin around your heels you can still stop the condition from progressing…
Like many foot problems, the origin can be in your choice of footwear. For shoes, make sure they are well-fitted and don’t rub your heel. Also, avoid open-heeled shoes, especially in the summer when exposure to the sun can dry out your feet.
With socks, studies have shown that padded socks can help to reduce the burden on your heels and prevent cracking. Beautyfeet socks have nourishing pads to revive damaged heels.
You should keep your feet clean and moisturised as part of your daily routine. But if you start to notice dry skin you might want to take things up a notch.
Use vegetables oils in warm water to help moisten your skin or soak them with a little lemon juice. The acid helps to break down the dry skin, which can then be easily removed.
Alongside moisturising is exfoliating. Once you’ve soaked your feet, you can use a pumice stone to very gently remove the excess dry skin.
A home remedy of rice flour, honey and a bit of vinegar formed into a paste and rubbed gently onto your feet also works. The rice particles act as an exfoliant while the honey provides anti-bacterial defence. The vinegar works like lemon juice by helping to break down the dry skin.
|How to fix them
If you’ve reached the point where your feet are cracked and painful, you can still get them back to normal. Though, if there’s any sign of infection or you’re having difficulty standing on them, you should see a doctor.
Paraffin wax or Vaseline can help to protect and moisturise them. Put on a generous layer under a pair of socks before going to bed at night, giving it time to soak into your feet.
Again, try soaking them regularly with small amounts of lemon or oil to soften the skin. You can give them a gentle rub after but try not to damage the skin any further. And avoid rigorous drying with a towel after as this will only make them drier.