Dryness-related heel problems are commonplace, according to a study done in 2018¹. These issues manifest as hard skin or dry, cracked heels with pain, bleeding or itching. It can be caused by a myriad of reasons such as standing on your feet for extended periods, your diet, genetics and lack of hydration.
The dryness starts out quite mild, you may notice a small amount of dead skin, which if left untreated, leads to the more severe heel cracks and associated pain when walking. Let’s face it, not many of us give our feet the attention we dole out on our face and body until it’s in dire need.
Before treating the external problem, it would be wise to get to the root cause of the dryness, is it genetic? Is it from a disease such as diabetes? Is it your diet? Addressing the underlying cause from the inside, will help the external heal quicker. Prior to trying any home remedies or treatments, consult your doctor, especially if your cracked skin is severe.
3 Simple Tips to Help Speed Up The Healing of Your Cracked Heel And Dry Feet
1. Soak Your Feet In Lukewarm Water And Vinegar Or Lemon Juice.
The acidity of the lemon juice and vinegar will dissolve the dead skin cells, making it easier to be removed with a pumice stone or by gently buffing. You could also do an epsom salt soak for more severe cracks, as an alternative treatment to remove toxins and aid the improvement of skin health.
2. Moisturise Your Feet Whilst Damp
After the foot soak, or after a shower, pat your feet dry, leaving some of the moisture from the water. To your damp feet, apply vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil and jojoba oil – or a combination of the three – they will hold in the moisture and start to help the soles heal. Wear cotton socks, where possible, the heat generated will help the oils penetrate better.
It is not recommended to apply oils or a foot cream to dry soles, they will have a difficult time penetrating the dry skin and will be a waste of product. These types of products work best on damp skin.
There are a number of foot creams on the market, you may have a favourite, you can use this instead of the oils, or alternate them to get the best result.
3. Use Foot Creams or Foot Oils Instead Of Body Lotion
After every shower or bath, moisturise the soles of your feet with special foot creams or an oil blend – you can make one yourself. Body lotions are formulated for body skin, which has different needs and is different to your feet in how it accepts moisture. A body lotion is usually lighter with a high water content so it absorbs well into the skin. Your soles require thicker oil based creams for better barrier protection. Therefore, it is best to apply foot creams to your feet and not lotion, as they offer the extra protection the harder skin on the soles need.
4. Bonus Tip : Get Regular Pedicures
Pedicures are not just a way to pamper yourself, they are also a way of keeping your feet healthy. A regular pedicure – every 6-8 weeks – can help you keep on top of any foot issues. Note, your technician should never use blades to remove dry skin from your feet, using blades incorrectly can cause an overproduction of hard skin as your sole tries to protect itself. If your technician uses this method of removal, you can politely ask them not to.
Regular pedicures will make caring for your feet easier. With a good pedicure, your only maintenance will be keeping your feet properly moisturized until your next appointment.
Whilst dry, cracked heels is a mild disease, it isn’t something you need to be ashamed of, or pretend it isn’t happening. There are more people suffering from dry feet than you think. As stated above, leaving the problem only exacerbates it. If you suffer from this skin issue, look for the underlying cause and start there. There are many foot creams on the market that can help alleviate dryness and good ole trusty vegetable oils are a great alternative. The remedies and treatments do not need to be extensive, we all live busy lives and simplicity saves time.
Do you suffer from dry feet? Share with us what has helped you overcome or manage this problem. Talk to us in the comments or over on our Facebook and Instagram Pages.
Be great x.
1.Gupta S, Acharya R. Management of Padadari (cracked feet) with Rakta Snuhi (Euphorbia caducifolia Haines.) based formulation: An open-labeled clinical study. Ayu. 2018 Oct-Dec;39(4):208-212. doi: 10.4103/ayu.AYU_57_18. PMID: 31367142; PMCID: PMC6639817.