Cracked heels may also be referred to as heel fissures and this is a very common problem. In most cases, this is purely a cosmetic issue that does not cause any health problems. However, in severe cases, these cracks can get very deep and when you walk or stand this can cause some pain and discomfort.
Cracked heels can result from a number of issues from dry skin to systemic medical conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes. There are many things you can do at home to help alleviate cracked heels and improve the overall health of your skin.
Glycerin and Rosewater
Glycerin is a highly effective moisturizer and rose water helps to increase the moisturizing effects. Create a foot soak with the following:
Enough warm water to soak your feet
Juice from half a lemon
One teaspoon of salt
One-fourth part glycerin
Three-fourth part rosewater
Soak your feet in the mixture for about 20 minutes and then take a pumice stone to gently rub the feet to remove dead skin cells. Pat your feet dry and apply a thick moisturizer.
Oil Massage – Almond, Olive or Neem Oil
Oils are natural moisturizers and several of them are especially effective for thick, cracked heels. Mixing a variety of moisturizing oils helps to increase the speed at which the heels soften. Massage your heels with a mixture of the following oils:
Take about 10 minutes to thoroughly massage your feet, paying the most attention to your heels and other cracked areas. After you massage the oils in put on a pair of thick cotton socks so that the oils continue to go to work. It is best to do this right before bed so that the oils work as you sleep.
Fruits contain compounds and enzymes that can help to soften and soothe cracked heels. These elements work to essentially eat away at the dry skin without harming the healthy tissue, revealing smooth and soft feet. Create a paste with one banana, half a coconut’s worth of coconut flesh and a half of an avocado. Once the paste is ready, apply it to your feet and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Once your feet are clean, pat them dry and apply a thick moisturizer.
Milk and Honey Exfoliator
Milk and honey are natural moisturizers and honey has the added benefit of also being a natural antibacterial. Take one cup of organic honey and two cups of milk and put them into a basin to soak your feet. Make sure to mix these well before putting your feet in.
For added comfort, you can slightly warm the milk, but never make it hot because hot liquids can further dry out the feet and cause a burn. Soak your feet for 10 minutes without interruption and then start to massage your feet as you are soaking them for another five to 10 minutes to help them really absorb the milk and honey and to loosen the dead skin. Once you are done, wash your feet with water, pat them dry and apply a thick moisturizer.
Oatmeal and Jojoba Oil
Oatmeal and jojoba oil are moisturizing and they also work to improve the overall health of the skin. Create a thick paste with one tablespoon of oatmeal powder and enough jojoba oil to create a thick paste.
Apply this to your feet and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Use warm water to rinse it off, pat the skin dry and apply a thick moisturizer.
Rice Flour Scrub
Rice flour is a great exfoliator and you can make an all-natural scrub to slough off the dead skin and smooth the skin. Create a foot soak with the following ingredients:
Two teaspoons of honey
A few drops of olive oil
Three tablespoons of rice flour
Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Warm water to fill the rest of the basin
Soak your feet for 15 minutes, once a day. After patting your feet dry, apply a thick moisturizer.
White vinegar has acetic acid in it and this works to soften the skin by gently exfoliating it. Since acetic acid can also be drying you cannot just apply vinegar directly to the feet. You should make a foot soak with the following ingredients:
Warm water to fill three-fourths of a soaking basin
One-fourth cup of vinegar
Some moisturizing oil, such as olive oil
Soak your feet for 10 minutes and then use a pumice stone to gently scrub the feet before you dry them. After drying your feet apply a thick moisturizer.
Homemade Foot Ointment
You can make your own ointment that you can apply to your heels with the following ingredients:
One-fourth cup of shea butter
Three tablespoons of beeswax
Two tablespoons of boiling water
One-fourth cup of coconut oil
One-fourth cup of magnesium flakes
Apply this ointment before bed and put on a pair of thick cotton socks so that it stays in place and can absorb into the skin as you sleep.
Lemon juice is a great exfoliator and it contains acetic acid which helps to slough off the dead skin on dry, cracked heels. You can use this juice in a number of ways to soften the heels:
Take mashed papaya fruit and add some lemon juice to it to create a paste. Use this as a mask and apply it to your heels and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes to soften the skin.
Squeeze the juice out of a full lemon and add it to a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
Cut a fresh lemon in half and use each half to massage the heels, squeezing the lemon halves as you massage. Massage each heel for about five minutes, rinse your feet with water and then apply a thick moisturizer.