Do you have dry cracked feet?
Are you finding it difficult to get rid of cracks on your heel?
What causes dry cracked feet?
Can you prevent cracked heels?
Let us talk about cracked heels today.
Cracked heels spoil the beauty of our lovely feet. But cracked heels could also be a sign that you haven’t been taking care of your feet.
Our feet gets us around, it ensures that we can be the super mommies that we are. But then after doing so much around the house, we end up being really tired to take care of ourselves.
Our body is generally forgiving, especially in our younger years, but as we grow older, all the neglect starts showing on our bodies.
As I said, cracked feet could be a sign of improper foot care. So what are the other factors that lead to it? Read on to learn all about taking care of your heel- cracked or not and how to heal dry cracked feet with easy home remedies.
What causes cracks or fissures on the feet?
Our feet get the least amount of care in our body. The fact that the feet have no oil glands make matters worse. Not moisturizing it and exerting it makes matters worse. Exertion leads to the skin stretching and the lack of moisture is what causes the cracks to develop.
Let us look at the common causes of cracked feet.
- Body weight
If your body weight is on the higher side, then you are at risk of getting cracks on your feet. That is because your feet have to bear more load and the fact that it is dry makes matters worse.
- Skin type
If you have dry skin, then you are a prime candidate for getting cracked feet.
As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity and natural oils and thus age becomes a factor that contributes to dry cracked feet.
If your job involves long hours of standing (motherhood counts too), then the feet have to withstand the pressure for extended time periods. This is also a cause.
- Climatic conditions
If you stay in a place that is too dry then that can lead to skin dryness and cracked heels. Excessive heat or cold climates can also contribute.
- Hot baths
Hot baths may feel relaxing, but it doesn’t do much for the skin as it dries it out. Also spending too much time in the water can lead to loss of natural oils.
- Wet kitchen floors
When you work in the kitchen, take a look around. Is the floor too wet? As mentioned above, standing in water for long isn’t good for the skin.
- Medical conditions
Certain ailments cause the skin to dry up. Examples are diabetes, thyroid problems, certain skin ailments etc.
- Dietary deficiencies
Improper diet can also be a factor when it comes to cracked heels. Consuming a diet that lacks enough water, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and zinc can also lead to dry cracked feet.
How to tell if you need to pay attention to your feet?
Dryness is a sign that you need to start paying attention to your feet. But if you don’t take sufficient care at this stage, then that can lead to problems like itching, flaky skin, redness, deep cracks that are painful and pus formation and in these fissures. At times you may even find it difficult to walk.
Yes, disregarding your feet can snowball into a really painful affair!
30 Ways to get rid of and prevent dry cracked feet
We have to be on our toes every day and a cracked heel shouldn’t get in the way of that. So let us look at ways and means to eradicate this issue.
I believe prevention is better than cure, so I will be listing out certain simple tips to prevent the occurrence of dry and cracked feet first.
#1. Drink water
The first thing you can do to prevent dry feet and lots of other issues is to drink enough water.
#2. Exfoliate regularly
Get rid of the dry skin of your feet by using a good scrub and a pumice stone. But ensure you avoid scrubbing too much. This can do more harm than good.
#3. Do not use harsh soaps
Use mild soaps so that your body’s natural oil are not stripped.
Make it a habit to apply moisturizer on the feet too, after a bath. If your skin is dry, then you can’t afford to step this step at all.
#5. Take precautions if you have sweaty feet
If your feet are excessively sweaty, ensure that you use fabrics that allow the feet to breathe.
#6. Footwear matters
Avoid wearing ill-fitting footwear. Make sure that your footwear gives adequate support. If you have to stand for long hours, make sure your footwear has sufficient cushioning.
#7. Foot sprays
Avoid using foot sprays that contain alcohol. Alcohol can dry your feet further so try to avoid it.
#8. Food habits
Eat a balanced diet and limit or avoid the usage of alcohol and caffeine.
#9. Avoid constant exposure to water
Make sure you don’t stand in water for too long. Long showers and baths are also a no-no. Do not use hot water to take bath. Also avoid or limit trips to the sauna.
#10. Keep feet dry
After a bath, ensure that you dry your feet well. Use your towel and pat your feet dry.
- Also read: How to give yourself a pedicure at home
That’s how we prevent it. But I know that you most of you would be past this stage.
If you aren’t, you may even shrug the portion above thinking, “I am never going to need this.” I sincerely hope you don’t. But if you do, then here are some tips to help you get rid of dry, cracked feet.
You can use these remedies even if you don’t have cracked heels as it will help to keep your feet soft and supple.
#11. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is not only good to moisturize skin, but also to heal any infections or cuts.
At night, before you go to bed, apply some coconut oil on your feet. Then wear a pair of cotton or woolen socks and hit the sack. The oil will work its magic through the night. Continue this treatment and you will surely see results.
#12. Sesame oil
You can do this one also at night time. Wash the feet and pat dry.
Apply sesame oil on the feet and massage well. Put on a pair of socks and go to bed.
#13. Castor oil
Castor oil is renowned for its moisturizing, cleansing and healing properties. Again, this is also best done at night. Apply some castor oil after washing and drying your feet well.
#14. Shea butter
Shea butter makes for a very good moisturizer. You can apply some Shea butter on your feet to keep it soft and moisturized.
#15. Petroleum jelly
I do not have to tell you the benefits of petroleum jelly and how much it can help dry skin. Petroleum jelly is an effective option to get rid of dry, cracked heels. Like the oils, you can apply this one, at night and wear socks.
Take half a bucket of lukewarm water. Add the juice of 2 lemons in it. Soak for 10 minutes.
Scrub with a pumice stone and apply any oil/ petroleum jelly/ Shea butter, etc. Lemon helps to slough off the dead skin cells and soften the skin.
#17. Lemon and Vaseline
Take the juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of Vaseline. Mix it well. Apply it on clean and dry feet. Massage it well. Leave it on.
#18. Honey soak
Take half a bucket of water. Add half a cup of honey. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Wash and pat dry.
Honey helps to lock in moisture and also heal infection.
#19. Neem and turmeric paste
Take some neem leaves and half a piece of turmeric. Make a paste adding some water. Apply it on clean feet. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Wash and pat dry.
Neem and turmeric helps to heal the broken skin and fights infection.
#20. Turmeric paste
If you can’t get your hands on neem leaves you can use just turmeric. Make a paste with some coconut oil and apply to your feet. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
#21. Rosewater and glycerin moisturizer
Take equal quantities of rosewater and glycerin and mix it well. Store in a clean container. Apply this on the feet daily till you see results.
This combination is a tried and tested skin care remedy and is used to soften and moisturize skin.
#22. Rice water
Cook some rice with extra water. The starchier the better. Once the rice is cooked, strain and reserve the starchy water. After it becomes lukewarm, soak your feet for 15 minutes.
This water contains a lot of nutrients that are beneficial for the skin. This soak soothes and helps to promote the growth of cells.
#23. Banana mask
Take a ripe banana and mash it well. Apply it to clean feet and leave it on for 15 minutes.
Banana tastes yummy, but it can help you if you have cracked heels as well as it is a good moisturizer.
#24. Aloe Vera
Apply aloe vera gel from the plant onto your heel, massage it well so that it gets absorbed onto the feet.
Take a few turnips and boil it along with leaves. Soak your feet in this water while it is still lukewarm. Then take some of the boiled turnips and mash it well. Apply it on cracked heels. Wash and pat dry.
Massage some curd onto your feet and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Then scrub, wash and pat dry.
Curd contains lactic acid, which helps in moisturizing the skin and it is also an effective anti-bacterial agent.
#27. Epsom salt
Take a basin of warm water and add a cup of Epsom salt to it. Soak your feet in it for 15 minutes. Scrub, wash and pat dry. Apply a moisturizer.
Apart from helping to get rid of dead skin cells, Epsom salts also help to relieve tiredness. This is a great foot soak for people who have to stand for long hours.
#28. Salt soak
Take half a tub of warm water and add half a cup of salt. Now soak your feet in this for relief from pain and for clearing the infection. It will sting a bit, but it is very effective.
#29. Vinegar soak
Take a basin of warm water. Add half a cup of vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar) and a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil. Soak your feet it in for 10-15 minutes. Scrub your feet using a pumice stone. Wash and pat dry.
You can use vinegar for cracked heels as it helps to soften the skin and makes it easy to scrub the dead skin layer away. But do make sure that you do not apply it directly on the skin as it can irritate the skin.
#30. Oatmeal- Honey mask
Make a thick paste of oatmeal and honey. Apply it on the feet after a honey/espom salt soak. Massage well and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry.
Precautions to follow
- Always do a spot check to test for allergies before you try any remedy/creams.
- Do not soak your feet for longer than specified as prolonged exposure to water will just dry the feet further.
- If you don’t see relief or notice any changes even after a week, consult a doctor.
- Cracked feet that are bleeding/infected should be brought to the notice of a doctor. Self-medication may make matters worse.
- Keep your weight under control.
- Do not use products that are past the expiry date.
- Resist the temptation to pick at the dry skin because pulling it out may cause further injury, bleeding and pain.
We invest time and effort on our face, but not on our feet. But actually our feet need a bit of TLC too! The best way to heal cracked heels is to moisturize it. Make that a habit for great skin.
Dear mommies, how do you tackle dry cracked feet? Do you have any remedy that you would like to share with us? Do let us know if you have tried any of the remedies mentioned above and how it fared.
Hope this post motivates you to take care of your feet and keep it healthy.