SUMMER SPECIAL: How Do We Treat Cracked Heels?

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The cause for cracked heels is more than merely the lack of moisture. Dry scaly skin can result from merely a change of climate to living in an unhygienic environment. Even contact with bacteria from our sandals, shoes and socks can also affect the health of our skin. The condition can also signal other problems such as fungal infections, diabetes, dehydration, deficiency of vitamins and more. There is a possibility that you may be deficient of Zinc and Omega-3 fatty acid if you suffer from cracked heels.

Cracked heels are generally not harmful unless the fissures or cracks are deep enough to cause pain and bleeding, which can lead to an infection. The elderly are among the population who are prone to this problem as their sebum production decreases with age. It is an important reminder that Diabetics should do their level best to prevent cracked heels from becoming severe as they may find a hard time healing their wound should it get infected later on.

Signs and symptoms that appear on the skin are simple indicators of a faulty internal activity or an external abuse. Some of them could be: red or flaky patches, peeling and cracked skin, itchiness, bleeding or discharge from cracks. If you suffer from any of these unpleasant signs, it is time to treat them before your heels deteriorate any further!

What causes cracked heels?
- Excessive feet activity.
- Prolonged standing. Hard floors may also cause cracks in the feet.
- Being overweight may increase the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel.
- Back-open sandals or shoes allow the fat under the heel to expand sideways, hence increasing the possibility of cracks on the heels.
- Other disease and disorders such as Athlete’s foot, Psoriasis, Eczema, Thyroid disease, Diabetes etc.
- Over-exposure to water; especially running water, can rob the skin of its natural oils.
- Standing for prolonged periods in a damp area such as a bathroom can cause dry and cracked heels.
- Exposure to dry / hot weather.
- Unhygienic environment.

Here are some of the best remedies to treat cracked heels yourself:- Make a healing mixture of 1 tsp of Vaseline along with the juice of 1 Lemon. Rub this mixture onto the affected area until it is completely absorbed. It is recommended to do this before you go to bed so you can put on a pair of thick woollen socks, which will help build up useful heat around the heels to increase the effectiveness of the mixture. Oil is useful in softening dry and cracked heels. You can then easily slough off the dead skin the next morning;

- Regular application of a mixture of glycerin and rosewater is known to soothe and cure cracked heels;

- Melt paraffin wax and mix it well with a little mustard oil. The, apply on the dry or cracked area of the heels and rinse it off in the morning. To achieve desirable results, follow this regime for 10-15 days.

- Apply hydrogenated vegetable oil after washing the feet and wear a pair of thick socks. Leaving this application overnight can provide obvious results in a few days;

- You may also apply the pulp of a ripe banana and leave it on the affected area for 10 minutes before rinsing and cleaning your feet;

- Pamper your feet. Prepare a mixture rich in vitamins and oils to soften and moisturise the feet: Blend 1 banana with half an Avocado or half a coconut (flesh) to form a creamy paste.

- Lemon is another miracle fruit for cracked heels. Soak your feet in Lemon juice for 10 minutes and voila ~ You have happy feet. Lemon juice is a mild, natural acid which can help dissolve dry and dead skin for easy removal. It is best to soak your feet in Lemon juice solution and then lightly scrub it with a loofa or soft foot brush to gently exfoliate the top layers of dead skin that cause dry cracked heels;

- Prepare a natural homemade scrub with a few spoons of honey, apple cider vinegar, and rice flour. Mix all to form a thick paste. To treat very deep cracks, it is necessary to add a spoon of Olive oil or sweet Almond oil to make the remedy more effective. Soak your feet for 20 minutes in warm water, and then gently massage your feet with this natural remedy. The vinegar is a perfect treatment to dissolve the thickened layers of dead skin while the rice flour will gently abrade the top layer of the dead skin. Honey and olive oil on the other hand act as natural moisturisers, which will help keep the skin on your feet soft and moisturised, and prevent any further cracking;

- You can also do another moisturising heel cream on your own by mixing together a spoon of olive oil along with a few drops of Lemon oil or Lavender oil. Pour all of this into a small bottle and add an equal amount of water to it. Shake the content thoroughly so that the water and oil form a thick milky solution.

NOTE: Make sure that you shake the solution before you use it each time.

Internal cure is also important in treating cracked heels. Ensure that your diet does not miss out any important nutrients, which will ensure the health of your heels. You can obtain the important nutrients to have happy feet from the following examples:

Vitamins (Vitamin E):- Vegetable oils, green vegetables, cereals, wheat germ, whole-grained products and nuts;

Calcium:- Milk, cheese, yoghurt, goat’s milk, fortified soya milk, mineral water, ice cream, juices, cereals and broccoli.

Iron:- Iron is also available in cereals, eggs, vegetables and beans.

Zinc:- Kidney beans, yoghurt, brown rice, spaghetti

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:- Purslane herb, Flaxseed oil or flax seeds.

You may also be interested in:Cucumber For A Complete Beauty Package
Be Cleopatra (Milk Beauty) for Your Skin's Sake

Author: Nicoleta Buru
Edited by Genevieve Tan Shu Thung

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (Volume 1, Issue 3 - APR 2012 Edn)

4 Responses for “ SUMMER SPECIAL: How Do We Treat Cracked Heels?”

  1. Silam says:

    This is a very practical article for me.I had been hunting for a good solution in pharmacy but most are not practical enough for my patients!

    This article enlists not one but quite a number of solutions for cracked heals!...can't wait to try it on my patients,haha!

  2. Footsie says:

    I didn't quite like the idea of Vaseline as it contains petroleum jelly. But I tried out the lemon juice thing. It really made my heels softer and easier to scrape with the pumice stone.

  3. KHANDAKER says:

    Summer fills my feet with dirt and roughness. I really hope that your ways will find me a solution to prevent that.I was thinking also of using foot massage machine

  4. Unknown says:

    Wow!very innovative and effective ways to drive dryness and roughness. Luckily I have got your page while seeing foot massager reviews .Yippiee!


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