Cracked heels, most often, become an issue in cold weather. National foot health suggests, in the United States, 20 percent of adults suffer from cracked heels. It further explains women face this condition more than men and wonder how to fix their cracked heels permanently and get soft feet without spending much. In winter, we mostly care about our facial skin and ignore our feet. This ignorance results in dry heels and eventually leads to cracked heels. Boots and socks can hide your cracked heels, but when winter is over, there will be an embarrassment in wearing open shoes and showcasing your cracked heels in public places. That is why this is very important to fix these unattractive cracked heels permanently before winter is over.
Can Cracked Heels be Painful
Dermatologists say, most often, people ask them this question: can cracked heels be painful? It is, maybe, because people are afraid of having painful cracked heels.
Having cracked heels is not that serious for most people. By following a few effective home remedies, you can fix your cracked heels permanently at home. If cracks in your heels become deep, then they cause pain while standing and walking. Now the question arises: can cracked heels be cured? But before going into that question, we need to understand what causes cracked heels.
What causes cracked heels
There are several reasons for cracked heels. We usually suffer from cracked heels in cold weather due to lack of moisture, but there are many other reasons. Here I am presenting the main factors that cause cracked heels. Have a look at them carefully and identify what must be the reason in your case, and try to fix that.
1. Cracked Heels and Vitamin deficiency
Dermatologists suggest Vitamin deficiency can cause cracked heels. Our skin reflects our inner health, and if you are not healthy from the inside, it will appear outside. Vitamins help to produce healthy skin tissues through biochemical reactions, and their deficiency may disturb these biochemical reactions. Vitamin deficiency damages nerves that control oil production and lead to dry, cracked heels. The Vitamins you need to look out for are vitamin E, vitamin B-3, vitamin C. Vitamin E plays an essential role in our body. It protects the collagen in our skin. Its deficiency damages collagen and results in cracked heels. For this, you need to do is to have a balanced diet and consult your dermatologist to fix cracked heels permanently.
2. Lack of moisture
Cold weather takes moisture away from our feet' skin, leaving them cracked. This lack of moisture problem may arise in summer too, but mostly we experience it in winter.
Dehydration is another cause of cracked heels. In winter, we usually drink less water. It causes dehydration in our body and makes our skin dry and flack.
4. Open footwear
You may be surprised by reading this headline, but observations suggest wearing frequent open-back footwear cause cracked heels. It causes fat in our heels to go sideways and result in cracked heels. It doesn’t mean that you should not wear those stylish sandals at all. Just, wear them less, or not at all, if you are suffering from cracked heels, till you fix them permanently.
Hygiene is essential; there is no doubt about it. Poor hygiene may cause cracked heels. Wash, scrub, and moisturize them regularly to prevent them.
Weight puts pressure on your heels and can cause fat pads to move sideways. It causes cracked heels. If you are overweight, consider losing weight.
If you have such a job where you need to stand for long hours, Pressure will be on your heels. Pressure causes cracked heels. In this case, take a foot massage regularly to prevent cracked heels.
Standing in damp conditions such as bathroom and pool; for a long time can cause cracked heels. Water takes away moisture from your skin and leaves it dry and cracked.
Genetics also plays a role in having cracked heels.
What cures cracked heels?
Cracked heels are irritating and embarrassing as well but with little extra care, you can cure them. Ignoring them for long may cause deep fissures and can lead to infection. Here I am writing down some steps you can practice to cure cracked heels.
- Keep them super clean
It’s important to keep your feet always clean to cure cracked heels. Before going to bed, soak your feet in lukewarm water with a few drops of shampoo added to it. Leave your feet in it for a few minutes and then pat dry. Make it your habit.
2. Moisturize them well
The important step for curing your cracked heels is to moisturize them well. Use any deep moisturizer of your choice or even petroleum jelly does the job well. After cleaning your feet, as suggested in step 1, moisturize them and massage them at least for a minute or two.
3. Wear cotton socks
After applying moisturizer and massage, wear cotton socks before going to bed. This will help the moisturizer work all night and prevent your bed sheet from staining. Make sure to wear 100% cotton socks as they are recommended for cracked heels.
4. Use Pumice stone
Using a pumice stone will help in removing dead skin around your heels. Simply soak your feet in lukewarm water for 10 minutes, it will soften the hard skin around your feet, then rub the pumice stone on your skin gently. You will notice the dead skin will start removing. Use pumice stone twice a week. Don’t overdo it.
Don’t use a razor or scissor to remove the dead skin around your heels, it may damage them.
After practicing these steps you will notice, your heels will start getting better in a weak or few.
Home remedies for cracked heels
There are several home remedies you can follow to fix cracked heels permanently at home. Here are my top selections.
1. Coconut oil for cracked heels
My first home remedy is coconut oil for cracked heels. Coconut oil contains vitamin E and natural proteins, which makes it an excellent moisturizer. Its molecular structure makes it easy to penetrate the skin. It also helps in getting rid of dead skin cells.
To fix cracked heels with coconut oil, use the foot soak method.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tub filled with hot water
Fill a tub with hot water (to the level you can bear) and coconut oil. Soak your feet for 15 minutes. Then scrub your feet with a good scrubber or pumice stone. It will remove dead skin from your heels. Then pat dry your feet. Moisturize your feet with coconut oil when going to bed. It will soften your feet.
2. Lemon for cracked heels
You can also use lemon to fix cracked heels permanently. Use lemon with petroleum jelly and watch the magic. It is an excellent remedy, I can say for sure. Both the ingredients combined do magic on your feet and leave them soft.
1 tablespoon petroleum jelly
Half squeezed lemon
Take petroleum jelly and lemon juice and mix them well. Before going to bed, massage this mixture on your heels for 2 to 3 minutes. When it gets completely absorbed, wear the soaks and let that work the whole night. Next morning you will observe smooth, soft feet.
3. Banana for cracked heels
Banana is also a natural moisturizer and can be used to fix cracked heels. It contains vitamins A, C, and B6. These vitamins keep the skin hydrated and also help in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. Use ripe bananas because unripe bananas contain acids and may irritate the skin.
1 ripe banana
Mash 1 ripe banana and apply this paste to your feet. Massage gently. Let this paste stay on your feet for 20 minutes, then wash your feet with tap water. Use this remedy daily, and within a week, you will see a great difference.
4. Honey for cracked heels
Honey is known for its antiseptic properties in the beauty and health industry. It also retains and preserves moisture. That is why it is perfect to fix cracked heels.
1 cup of honey
1 tub of lukewarm water
Fill a tub with lukewarm water. Add 1 cup of honey to it and mix well. Soak your feet in this water for at least 10 mins then scrub your feet gently with a pumice stone. Wash your feet, pat dry them and apply good moisturizers.
5. Vegetable oil for cracked heels
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is also beneficial for fixing cracked heels. The fats and Vitamins (Provitamin A, D, and E) in most vegetables help in nourishing the skin. It also helps in generating new skin cells.
- A quarter cup of vegetable oil
- Pair of clean socks
Before going to sleep, clean your feet properly. Dry them with a clean towel. Apply a good amount of vegetable oil on your feet and heels and massage them gently for almost one minute. Put on your clean socks after the oil has absorbed into your skin. Leave them overnight.
In most cases, you can fix your cracked heels permanently at home. All you need to do is, follow all the tips and precautions mentioned above. Home remedies are also efficient in curing cracked heels. If you don't receive any relief from these tips and home remedies, in that case, consult a doctor.