Cracked heels, otherwise known as heels fissures, is a common foot problem. It may cause pain and makes your foot bleed. Women are mostly affected by cracked heels more than men. Cracked heels can appear in both adults and kids. Cracks in the heels occur due to dry skin and brown or yellow calluses around the heel edge. If the cracks are deep, it can be painful while standing and cause discomfort while walking barefoot. Below are the remedies, which can help soothe your cracks and keep your foot moisturized.
Causes of Cracked Heels
When the skin gets dry, it causes cracked heels as the skin lacks moisture, becomes stiff and prone to cracks (1). If you don’t clean and moisturize your heel, it will dry faster. The first sign you notice will be dry, thickened skin known as callouses. While walking, the fat pad under the heel expands, causing the callouses to crack. As the skin of your heels does not have oil glands, proper care should be taken. If not, the skin gets dry, which prompts cracks.
Other common factors that can cause cracked heels include:
- Sometimes weather conditions such as low humidity or cold temperature.
- Walking around barefoot and standing for long hours on the hard floor.
- Taking hot and long showers.
- Wearing open-back shoes.
- Using harsh soaps that can lower the skin’s natural oils.
- Wearing poorly fitting shoes that don’t fit properly.
- Medical conditions, like vitamin deficiency, atopic dermatitis, fungal infections, obesity, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, diabetes, athlete’s foot.
- Skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, and aging.
Natural Home Remedies for Cracked Heels
1. Rice Flour and Olive Oil
Rice flour aids in exfoliating and purifying the skin, making it soft and soothe cracked heels. Olive oil helps nourish the skin and make it supple and smooth.
- Mix 2-3 tbsp of rice flour with a tsp of honey, 3-4 drops of apple cider vinegar, and a tsp of olive oil or sweet almond oil to make a paste.
- Take some warm water and dip your feet in it for 15-20 minutes.
- Apply the mixture and scrub gently to expel dead skin cells from your feet.
- Rinse it with normal water and pat dry with a towel.
Try it for two to three weeks; you can see a better result.
2. Avocado and Banana Foot Mask
Avocado is rich in vitamins E, A, and other vital nutrients that improve wound healing. Banana acts as a great natural moisturizer. The combination of both ingredients can treat dry skin and make it soft.
- Take a ripe banana and half an avocado.
- Blend both to form a smooth paste.
- Apply the creamy paste over your cracked areas and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Use this remedy daily to prevent extreme cracks.
3. Neem Leaves
Neem Leave or Indian Lilac helps in healing the wound faster as it has natural antibacterial properties. Turmeric powder acts as a disinfectant and promotes healing. It is the easy and best home remedy to treat extremely cracked heels.
- Take some neem leaves and grind them to make a paste.
- Include a tsp of turmeric powder with it and mix thoroughly.
- Apply the paste on the cracked heels and leave it for an hour.
- Rinse it with warm water and dry the area.
Apply this remedy every day for better outcomes.
4. Rosewater and Glycerine Foot Mask
Glycerine works as an effective humectant that aids your skin in retaining its natural moisture levels. Rosewater helps prevent cell damage and relieve dry and irritated skin because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Take a basin full of warm water, add 1 tbsp of glycerine, 1 tsp of rosewater, and raw salt to it.
- Soak your feet for about 10-15 minutes.
- Scrub your feet gently with a pumice stone.
Repeat this daily for better outcomes.
5. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly works as the best moisturizer, which can lower water loss from the outer skin and keep the skin hydrated and soft. Woolen socks increase the effectiveness of the mixture and trap the body’s heat.
- Soak your feet in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Gently scrub them with the pumice stone and pat your feet dry.
- Apply petroleum jelly on your feet and put on woolen socks.
- Keep them overnight and rinse it off with water in the morning.
Try this daily before going to bed.
Honey comprises the antiseptic and wound-healing properties, which can impart moisture to the skin and keep it hydrated. Its soothing properties help to treat dry and cracked heels.
- Add a cup of honey in half a bucket of lukewarm water.
- Soak your feet in the mixture of water for 15-20 minutes,
- Scrub gently and wash it off.
Do this every day for getting smooth and supple feet.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera softens the skin because of amino acids’ presence and helps to soothe the dry and dead skin. It increases collagen synthesis, which helps to heal the cracks and ridges.
- Soak your feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes.
- Dry the area and apply aloe vera gel freely on your feet.
- Put on socks and leave it overnight.
Applying it every day is beneficial for dry skin.
8. Paraffin Wax Natural Remedy
Paraffin wax works as a natural emollient that helps to moisturize and soften your skin. It is an easy but effective remedy. Coconut oil hydrates and smoothens your skin, which is effective for treating cracked heels.
- Mix 2-3 drops of coconut oil or mustard oil with 1 tbsp of paraffin wax.
- Heat properly until the mixture melts.
- Let it cool down to room temperature.
- Apply this mixture on the cracked area before going to bed and put on socks.
- Rinse it off the next morning.
Do this twice a week for better results.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the best moisturizer that moistens dry and cracked heels. It helps to lock the moisture levels in the body and nourish them. It is a convenient and effective treatment.
- Apply 2 tbsp of coconut oil freely on your cracked and dry areas.
- Wear socks and leave it overnight.
- Take a shower, as usual, the next morning.
Repeat for a few days until the feet softens.
10. Glycerin and Lemon
Glycerin treats cracked heels because of its natural moisturizing property. Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to clear out dead cells from the feet. It acts as a great cleanser.
- Make a smooth paste by mixing the same quantity of lemon juice and glycerin.
- Apply the paste on your cracked areas and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse it with cold water.
Try this remedy regularly for great results.
How to Prevent Cracked Heels?
- Try to avoid walking or standing for a long time.
- Clean your feet twice a day.
- Use creams, lotions, and ointments contain dimethicone, urea, lanolin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, glycerin, and mineral oil to keep moisture in the skin.
- Try to wear comfortable shoes and sandals.
- Wear good quality cotton or woolen socks.
- Consume plenty of water to keep your skin supple and hydrated (2).
- Scrub your feet with a pumice stone. And be careful not to overuse the pumice stone as it makes cracked heels worse. Don’t remove calluses yourself if you are a diabetic patient. It may create a wound and increase the risk of infections.
- Take some natural oils massages for relaxing your feet. It will soothe your cracked heels and give you soft feet as well.