One of the most uncomfortable and unsightly foot issues is cracked heels. They are very common, however they don’t begin by accident.
These cracks can easily become inflamed and itchy, as well as painful, and can be caused by:
- Naturally dry skin
- Standing for a long time
- Being overweight
- Medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid problems and skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and athlete’s foot.
- Continuous exposure to water
- Low humidity levels
- Non-moisturising soap
If you suffer from mild or moderate cracked feet, be aware of the complications associated with the condition. If the cracked heels are not treated properly, there can be issues:
- Difficulty in walking
- Infections of the cracked feet
- You cannot spend more time on feet, which will affect your working ability
- Increased itchiness and burning sensation
- Require expensive treatment instead of cheaper home remedies to get rid of cracked feet
1. Aloe vera
We all know how great aloe vera is but did you know it can heal your cracked heels too? This is a great remedy for those who have diabetes.
- Crush 1 tsp of basil leaves into a paste
- Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder to the gel of an aloe vera plant
- Mix both the basil and the turmeric mixture together and apply to your heels
- Leave for 10-15 minutes and wash off. Repeat daily as necessary.
Yes, Listerine! Don’t tell the makers of those fancy foot creams…
- Add 1/4 cup of Listerine (any kind), 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of warm water (or hot if you prefer) to a big bowl.
- Let your feet soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- When done soaking, wipe your feet with a washcloth. The dead skin will practically fall off!
3. Rice flour
Exfoliation of the skin on your feet and heels will help remove dead skin, which is often the cause of the dryness.
- To make a scrub with your rice flour, mix a handful of rice flour with a few teaspoons of honey and apple cider vinegar. Stir it until it becomes a thick paste.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and then gently scrub them with the paste.
- Repeat the process a few times a week until your heels are smooth.
It might sound counterproductive but the acidic properties in lemons can be very effective in softening dry, cracked skin.
- Add a cup of freshly squeeze lemon juice to warm water and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid using very hot water, which can cause your feet to dry out more.
- Scrub your cracked heels using a pumice stone.
- Wash your feet and dry with a towel.
5. Paraffin wax
If your cracked heels are causing quite a lot of pain, paraffin wax can provide relief to soften your skin.
- Melt one block of paraffin wax in a pan and mix in two tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Allow it to cool until a thin layer forms on the top.
- Dip your feet in the mixture (wait for it to cool a bit), wait for 5 to 10 seconds and dip again. Do this a few times or until you have several layers of wax built up.
- Cover your feet with a plastic and leave it on for 30 minutes before removing the plastic and peeling off the wax from your skin.
- Repeat the treatment one or two times a week.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you are diabetic or have poor circulation.
6. Glycerine and rosewater
Glycerine is one of the best moisturisers and is very cheap. Mixed with rosewater, it can give you a smooth and soft heels without any cracks.
- Mix ¼ part of glycerine with ¾ parts of rosewater and add fresh lemon juice.
- Take some warm water, add salt to it, mix and soak your feet in it.
- Let your feet soak for 15-20 minutes. If you want to, you can add some lime juice to this water so that your dead skin cells may loosen up quickly.
- Now rub feet with pumice stone to drop off dead skin cells.
- Pat dry and apply your glycerine mixture.
- Do this preferably at night before going to bed. Once your heels are cured, apply this glycerin lotion to your heels everyday after having bath to prevent recurrence of cracked heels.
7. Oil massage
A variety of oils can be used to treat and prevent cracked heels. Olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil or any other vegetable oil will work. For the best results, use this before going to bed to allow time for the oil to penetrate your sore skin.
- Soak your feet in soapy water and scrub your feet with a pumice stone then dry them thoroughly.
- Apply your chosen oil liberally on your heels and soles.
- Put on a pair of clean socks and leave them on overnight while you sleep. In the morning, your heels will feel and look softer.
- Repeat this until the cracks in your heels are gone completely.
8. Milk and honey
Here is a natural exfoliating mix made with honey and milk for you.
- Pour one parts honey to two parts milk into a foot soaking basin and mix well.
- Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
- After about 10 minutes of soaking, start massaging your heels then rinse.
9. Vinegar soak
White vinegar contains acetic acid which is gentle on your feet skin and softens them. Be careful not to directly apply it on your heels as the acetic acid in it may dry up the skin further.
- Add 1/2 cup vinegar to feet soaking basin.
- Soak your feet in it for not more than 5-10 minutes.
- Gently scrub the feet while soaked in water.
- Wash the feet with normal water and pat dry
- Apply moisturiser or oil
- Do not soak feet in vinegar water more that 1-2 times a week.
10. Foot ointment
This salve is perfect for very badly cracked heels.
- Melt 3 tbsp beeswax, 1/4 cup shea butter and 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a bowl.
- When the mixture gets neither fully solid nor liquid, blend the mixture slowly.
- While blending, pour in 1/4 cup epsom salts gradually then place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
- Then blend it again till it is the consistency of butter. Store the prepared cream in a container with lid.
- At night, apply a thick layer of this ointment on the cracks of your heel and wear socks.
- Do it everyday at night till your cracked heels are cured.
11. Vicks Vapour Rub
Some people swear by this flu remedy to smooth their heels.
- Grab your jar of vapour rub and a pair of clean socks.
- Use a cotton swab to apply a thin layer of the rub directly onto your feet around the cracked heels and on any other dry or callused spots.
- Then put your clean socks on over the rub.
- When you wake up, your feet should be noticeably softer, and the dry patches will have smoothed out.