6 Best Cracked Heel Remedies That Actually Work

As warmer weather approaches, many of us look forward to wearing sandals and open-back shoes. But if you struggle with cracked heels, it can be uncomfortable and even painful. The good news is, you can often treat cracked heels at home without much fuss. They’re quite common and unless there’s an underlying medical issue, you can try various remedies to soften and heal them.

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels, medically called keratoderma, happen when the skin loses moisture and becomes inflamed, leading to thick, dry skin that can split painfully. There are several reasons why cracked heels occur.

Some people may have a genetic predisposition, while others may develop them due to factors like hormonal changes, environmental factors, or chronic skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Wearing shoes that don’t support your heels or standing for long periods can also contribute to cracked heels.

Additionally, gaining extra weight can increase pressure on the heels, leading to calluses and cracks, while nutrient deficiencies can make the skin less soft and supple.

Tips to prevent cracked heels

  1. Wear Closed-Back Shoes: Open-backed shoes can contribute to cracked heels. Opt for closed-back shoes and socks, especially if your feet are becoming dry.
  2. Use Lukewarm Water: Hot water can strip away moisture from your skin, leading to cracked heels. Stick to lukewarm water during showers and limit shower time to 5 to 10 minutes to prevent moisture loss.
  3. Choose Gentle Cleansers: Harsh soaps can further dry out your skin, making cracked heels worse. Use mild cleansers to retain moisture in your heels. Avoid products with strong scents or ingredients like retinoids, alcohol, or alpha hydroxy acid, which can be harsh on sensitive skin.
  4. Moisturize Daily: Keeping your feet moisturized is crucial for preventing cracked heels. Apply a moisturizing foot cream daily to maintain hydration and keep your skin soft. Consistency is key, so find a product you like and use it regularly to prevent cracked heels.

Home Remedies for Cracked Heels

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Hydration is crucial for healthy skin, including your feet. Since cracked heels often result from dry skin, increasing your water intake helps keep your skin moisturized and soothes cracked skin.

2. Moisturize with Coconut Oil

Apply coconut oil to your feet at least once a day, ideally in the morning and before bed. Consistent moisturizing is key to keeping your skin soft and preventing further cracks. Coconut oil helps retain moisture, keeping your heels supple.

3. Honey Scrub

Honey is excellent for skin health as it draws moisture to the surface, aiding in healing cracked heels. Mix one cup of honey into warm water and soak your feet for about 20 minutes. Gently exfoliate with a pumice stone, then pat dry and apply moisturizer.

4. Vaseline and Lemon Juice

Vaseline is a potent moisturizer, particularly effective for cracked heels. Before bedtime, massage Vaseline into your heels and wear socks to lock in moisture. For added benefit, mix a few drops of lemon juice with Vaseline as the citric acid promotes skin renewal.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great way to exfoliate and soften your skin while reducing inflammation. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda into lukewarm water until dissolved. Soak your feet in this mixture for 15 minutes, then gently scrub with a pumice stone. Rinse with clean water and pat dry with a towel.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains mild acids that can help soften dry skin, making it easier to remove dead skin cells. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and soak your feet for 15 minutes every other day to treat cracked heels. After soaking, gently exfoliate the heel area to reveal new, softer skin.

These simple home remedies can help you combat cracked heels from the comfort of your home, leaving your feet feeling soft and smooth.

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