Having cracked heels can be painful, irritating and for some people, even embarrassing.
The skin on your heels is thicker than on other parts of your foot and is more prone to becoming tough and splitting when pressure is applied by standing up or walking.
It’s often made worse by the climate you live in, with those in hot, outdoorsy places more prone to dry and cracked skin on their feet and bodies.
While the condition is common, it’s not one you have to live with forever, with pharmacy creams and natural remedies that can help nurse the skin back to a more soft and supple state.
Pharmacies carry a range of moisturising balms and creams that help heel the skin and keep it soft. Most contain natural ingredients, such as Shea butter, lanolin, mineral oil or paraffin wax to help lock in moister and protect against dehydration.
Most can be applied morning and night and then covered with a cotton sock to help the product soak in over time.
Soaking your feet in warm water and exfoliating with a coarse scrub will help relieve dry skin and aid recovery and regeneration of new skin. Use a store-bought sugar or coffee-based scrub or make your own at home.
1. Fill a bucket with warm water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Soak feet for about 20 minutes.
2. Scrub feet with a pumice stone, luffa, or exfoliating scrub (try this homemade coconut scrub). Rinse with warm water, then pat dry.
3. Slather feet with a heel balm, moisturiser or coconut oil and put on a pair of cotton socks to lock in moister.
Nature has provided us with plenty of healing plants and ingredients to help keep out bodies healthy. Recent studies have shown that ingredients such as honey, lemon, oats and apple cider vinegar can help heal the skin and keep it soft.
Studies have shown that honey has medicinal properties that can help heal burns, rashes, dry skin and wounds. Rub honey over your heels after a shower and leave to soak for a few minutes before putting on cotton socks.
Add lemon juice to a foot soak to help clean and cleanse the skin. Using lemons in cooking or drinking as a hot water lemon drink can help heal skin from the inside out, too. Lemons are full of vitamin C, which helps improve overall skin texture.
This sweet oil has antibacterial properties and is incredibly moisturising. Rub all over clean feet as often as required to help skin repair.
Other natural ingredients that can help, include:
If symptoms persist see your doctor and extreme cases of cracked heels can lead to infection if left untreated.