Most of us have had to deal with cracked heels at some point in our lives. The degree of this little ailment can vary but one thing is common- it looks unsightly, and in some people cracked heels trigger considerable pain. Usually, the cause of cracked heels is quite harmless. The skin at the heels becomes dry, especially in the wintry months, and when you put pressure on them while walking, the dry skin splits or starts to flake.
Without proper care, the cracks deepen and this is when they become painful and may even bleed. However, sometimes cracked heels are the manifestation of a fungal infection called Athlete’s Foot disease. If you are overweight, or usually wear sandals, or have naturally dry skin, you are likely to develop cracked heels.
Fortunately, there are a few simple remedies that can help you circumvent this problem-
Heels tend to crack when the moisture content in the air is low. So before winter sets in, start a foot care routine. Coating the areas that prone to crack with moisturiser locks in the skin’s natural oils and keeps the skin supple. Start your heel and foot moisturising routine by November. You can make foot moisturisers at home with olive oil, coconut oil, and essential oils. Or you can opt to purchase any of the hundreds of cracked heel creams available in the market. Moisturisers you buy should contain salicylic acid, saccharide isomerate, and alpha-hydroxy acids.
Just ensure that you smear on a generous quantity and massage it into your heels. Do it twice a day as per your convenience. Try to do a foot massage with moisturiser before you go to bed.
Soaking and exfoliating
It is very important to keep your feet clean to prevent cracked heels from showing up. This is something you should do all year. Heat some water and pour it into a tumbler. You can add some body wash or shampoo into the warm water to create froth. Now soak your feet for about 20 minutes. Use a foot scrub or a loofah to gently exfoliate the heels, the regions between the toes, and all parts of the feet. Take your feet out and pat them dry with a clean dry towel.
Now while your skin is still slightly moist, apply a foot cream of your choice and massage. You should put on socks or you could leave greasy tracks when you walk.
Honey foot mask
Honey has excellent antimicrobial features. If your cracked heels are triggered by a fungal infection, you can smear honey onto your heels and wash it off after an hour. Or you can apply honey before going to bed and let it work on your feet throughout the night.
Banana foot pack
Banana is loaded with antioxidants that are good for your skin. It contains Vitamins A, B6, and C that help to moisturise the skin and promote skin elasticity. It is also an excellent moisturiser. Mash some ripe bananas and apply generously to your heels and the pad of your toes. Wash off after 20 minutes.
The right footwear
Try to wear socks and comfortable shoes during the winter. Wear open-heel footwear as few times as possible. Exposure to pollution and dry air can dehydrate your foot skin.
Losing weight will benefit your overall health. Even shedding a few kilos will help not just your heart and other organs but also take much weight off your feet. Less pressure means fewer chances of developing cracked heels.
Seek a doctor’s help
If moisturising and foot care do not work and your heel cracks deepen and start to bleed, you should seek help from a podiatrist. Unless you take the right action, the infection can worsen. Your doctor might prescribe special topical medicines and pills to help deal with the infection. If you want to know more about treatment for Athlete’s Foot Disease, you can always talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.
Cracked heels need no longer be a source of pain and embarrassment. There are easy cures to this menace. Be sure to care for your feet throughout the year.