Home Remedies for Dry, Cracked Heels

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The bottom of your feet take a lot of punishment throughout the day – as they are responsible for making sure you safely get from point A to point B. Because of their constant use, the feet can become dry and cracked (especially in the wintertime), leaving behind an unpleasant reminder on your heels. To get feet healthy, home remedies for dry cracked heels can help.

Causes and Symptoms

The excessive dryness of the heels causes tears and cracks to form. Painful ‘fissures’ follow and if left ignored, the pain starts to intensify – culminating with bleeding cracks and fissures. Once bleeding becomes a symptom, the risk increases for developing a bacterial infection or other consequence, such as athlete’s foot [1]. Other symptoms of dry, cracked heels include peeling or flaky skin, ‘tight’-feeling skin, itchiness, inflammation, discoloration, thick or hardened heels, and pain while walking.

While everyday wear and tear is a common cause of dry, cracked heels, there are many other circumstances to consider, such as:

• Weather Conditions – especially in cold temperatures and during the winter season
• Dehydration – of the entire body or the skin
• Hygiene Habits – such as scrubbing your feet too hard
• Water – taking hot baths and showers dries out the skin
• Lack of Moisture – including not using lotion and other products
• Choice of Products – using harsh soaps that dry out the skin
• Obesity – extra weight actually destroys sweat glands of the feet
• Health – certain health conditions, such as diabetes

Dry, Cracked Heel Home Remedies

Nearly every one will experience dryness and/or cracked skin on the foot in their lifetime. Overlooking the symptoms can lead to more pain and cracks. To restore the health of your feet, consider the following home remedies for dry, cracked heels:

a) Warm Bath:

Soak your feet in a warm bath for about 15 minutes to soften and soothe the skin of dry, cracked heels.

b) Vaseline:

Keep your dry feet hydrated after a shower or bath by applying Vaseline (or another petroleum jelly product) before going to bed.

c) Crisco:

The oily content of Crisco can provide a quick fix for dry, cracked heels.

d) Omega-3 and Zinc Supplement:

A deficiency in omega-3 and zinc can contribute to a problem with cracked heels. Add a supplement to your daily routine or increase foods that contain the minerals. Zinc-rich foods include sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, low fat roast beef, peanuts and chocolate. Foods with omega-3 include tuna, walnuts, dark green vegetables, and fortified bread.

e) Pair of Socks:

When applying a thick layer of moisturizer to the bottom of your feet, wear a pair of socks to promote absorption of the ingredients.

f) Apple Cider Vinegar:

If a fungus is behind your dry, cracked heels, try spraying on apple cider vinegar. Allow the vinegar to absorb into the skin for about 30 minutes. Follow up by soaking the feet in a bath.

g) Epsom Salts and Baking Soda:

Combine equal parts of Epsom salts and baking soda to create a foot soak to treat dry, cracked heels. Add two to three tablespoons of the mixture per one gallon of water.

h) Olive Oil:

A layer of olive oil provides a healing treatment for dry and cracked heels.

i) Milk:

Add one cup of milk to five cups of water to a bucket or basin to create a warm foot bath. Soak your feet for five to ten minutes.

j) Acne Treatment Pad:

The salicylic acid contained in an acne treatment pad, such as Stridex, can exfoliate dry feet when rubbed on before going to bed.

k) Cocoa Butter:

Apply a thick coating of cocoa butter to moisturize dry, cracked heels.

l) Lemon:

Fill a bucket ¼ of the way with water, and squeeze one lemon into it. Soak your feet in the solution to soften the skin on your heels. Wash with soap using a pumice stone to remove dry skin. This remedy produces the best results when followed two times per week. You may also apply a mixture of lemon juice and papaya to cracked heels. Allow the remedy to absorb for at least 20 minutes before washing off.

m) Lemon Juice and Milk:

Soothe dry, cracked heels by mixing one cup lemon juice, three tablespoons olive oil, and ¼ cup milk together in a small bowl. Add the mixture to one gallon of water and soak your feet.

n) Sugar Scrub:

Soften cracked heels by treating them to a sugar scrub, which exfoliates and soothes dry feet. Add sugar to an oil base, such as olive, vegetable or coconut oil, and scrub your feet with the remedy.

o) Baby Oil:

Add a bit of sugar to baby oil to create an exfoliating moisturizer for dry, cracked heels.

p) Soybean or Sunflower Oil:

Moisturize dry, cracked heels by rubbing in soybean or sunflower oil before going to bed. Slip into a pair of socks to add warmth to the healing process (and protect your bed sheets and covers from the oil). Sesame and coconut oils are also known to effectively moisturize the feet.

q) Banana:

When the peel of a banana looks almost black, you can use the inside fruit to treat cracked feet. Mash the banana and apply to your heels. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing off.

r) Humidifier:

Bring out the humidifier to increase moisture levels in your bedroom. When indoor air is dry and hot, your skin (including the bottom of your feet) suffers.

s) Avoid Walking Barefoot:

Heels become drier and more prone to cracks when you walk barefoot, especially when in the outdoors [2].


[1] http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/conditions/FootandAnkle/DrySkinandCrackedHeels.asp
[2] Babushka’s Beauty Secrets by Raise Ruder; pg. 114.