How to get rid of cracked heels
11 Easy Steps
Isn’t it just such a bummer when the weather is finally nice enough so that you can store away your winter boots and start wearing your beautiful flats, or even go barefoot at the pool or beach, but then you realize that your heels are cracked?
This is quite a common condition, and can not only dampen your confidence but it can also be quite uncomfortable to walk. In this article, I cover everything from common causes of cracked heels, home remedies and products you can use to help heal your heels, and when you should seek medical attention.
NOTE: I am not a medical professional and the tips listed below should not be taken as medical advice. If you suffer from severely cracked heels that constrict the way you move and live your life, please consider seeing a medical professional.
Common causes of cracked heels
Cracked heels will form over time. Just like any condition, if it is left untreated for long periods, it will end up getting worse. Here are some common causes of cracked heels:
- Wearing the wrong shoes for long periods.
- Standing for most of your day.
- Not moisturizing your feet enough, and using products that strip the oils from your skin.
- Walking barefoot a lot.
How to take care of your cracked heels
Something to remember is that the cracks in your heels will not be able to heal if there is any dirt or debris stuck in between them. Here are a few things you can do at home to fix your dry and cracked heels over time:
1. Soak your feet regularly with lukewarm water and a foot soak.
This will loosen the dead skin on your feet and toenails. This will make it easier to remove the dead skin as scrubbing dry skin can cause some of the skin to tear in which will lead to pain and can even cause an infection.
Soaking your feet with foot soaks will also help with things like foot odors and bacteria build-ups. It is also very relaxing to soak your feet after a long day at work. Be sure to properly dry your feet and in between your toes after soaking, as wet feet will promote bacterial growth.
This remedy foot soak is great as it contains natural ingredients that will not only help reduce pain and relax the muscles in your feet but will also help combat funguses and foot odors. Buy on amazon
2. Keep the cracks clean
You can use a nail brush and some gentle soap to gently clean the cracks on your heels. If the cracks have any dirt in them, it will prevent them from healing.
3. Exfoliate your feet
Use a foot scrubber, foot file, or pumice stone to gently scrub the dead skin from your feet. Make sure these objects are clean and sterile as you don’t want to pass bacteria to the cracks. Only do this when your feet are wet, as scrubbing on dry skin can cause tears and worsen the condition of your heels.
It is better when using a foot file to replace the sanding paper with each use as bacteria can be transmitted to the area and cause an infection. If you are using something like a pumice stone, be sure to properly sterilize it in between uses.
Use foot scrubs to gently exfoliate your feet. It will not only help remove dead skin from your heals but also leave the rest of your foot feeling soft.
A good quality pumice stone is a definite investment. It exfoliates your feet by removing dead skin. Use it on wet skin, and rub it on your skin applying mild pressure and moving in a circular motion. Buy on amazon
This foot scrub is not only a gentle way of exfoliating your feet, but it also combats funguses and bacteria. It makes use of dead sea salt, as well as Epsom salts, blended with essential oils to help soften your feet while protecting your feet against funguses and bacteria. Buy on amazon
4. Apply a heel balm
Heel balms were specifically manufactured to target cracked heels. SO if you find yourself struggling with deep cracks try switching over from regular moisturizers to a good quality heel balm.
Some heel balms you can buy over the counter, but other stronger brands will have to be prescribed to you by your doctor.
5. Moisturize your feet regularly
Apply moisturizer to your feet at least once a day. This will increase the flexibility of your skin and help to heal and prevent cracked heels. Moisturizers that contain glycerine, shea butter, and coconut oil are great for healing dry and cracked feet.
It is a great idea to moisturize your feet as often as possible, but if you can’t at least do it in the evening and wear cotton socks to promote the absorption of the moisturizer. You can also use petroleum jelly to help keep the moisture in your feet. But don’t use it alone as it will not moisturize only seal in moisture.
You can use a foot mask from time to time that will help your feet retain moisture and heal.
Buying a good foot cream that will not only moisturize your feet but help soften and remove callouses is a must for treating cracked heels. Shea butter is naturally hydrating and soothing to the skin and it also smells great. Buy on amazon
6. Change up your footwear
Wear comfortable shoes that won’t apply too much pressure on your heels and that will give enough support which will allow your feet to heal properly. Steer clear of high heels and constricting shoes.
It is also a good idea to wear shoes that are closed at the back so that your heels can heal without being exposed to the elements.
If orthopedic shoes are not for you, getting a good quality insert for your shoes might be a good idea. This insert will not only help minimize heel pain but helps reduce the chances of cracked heels. This is a must-buy if you stand on your feet for long hours. Buy on amazon
7. Drink enough water
Water consumption plays a big role in the appearance of our skin, not just our feet. If you notice that other parts of your body are also very dry like your lips, it might be a good idea to increase your water intake.
8. Avoid walking barefoot
Although it is a good idea to let your feet breathe and to be without constricting things like socks or shoes daily, walking barefoot should be avoided while your feet are healing.
Not only will walking barefoot cause dirt and debris to get into the cracks on your heels, but it can also slow down the healing process and cause an infection when bacteria get into deeper cracks.
9. Don’t take super warm baths and showers
Extremely hot water has been proven to have damaging and drying effects on our skin. To prevent your feet from drying out even more.
10. Consider changing out your soap if you have sensitive skin
If you have overly sensitive skin that reacts badly to certain scents in soaps and lotions, don’t think that these things won’t affect your feet as well. Pay attention to what your skin does when you change up the products you use.
11. Treat deeper cracks
If you have deeper cracks that are painful and might bleed, disinfect them and make sure to keep the area clean and dry. You can also use ointment on the area and close it with a bandage.
A liquid bandage might be a good product to try that will help the cracks heal without you having to worry about the bandage coming off during the day. Superglue should not be used as some brands can be toxic and it can cause more damage to your skin.
Try to keep the area open as much as possible while maybe only covering it with a bandage at night.
Make sure to check with your doctor before you use the liquid bandage. If you have health issues that cause cracked heels it’s always better to double-check with a medical professional before trying new products. Buy on amazon
On the other hand, here are some things that can worsen your cracked heels:
- Peeling or getting your heels peeled. Having the skin peeled with a sharp tool can not only be dangerous if the person doesn’t know what they’re doing, but if the tools are not sterile it can cause an infection to happen. Not only that but having this done by someone else than a medical professional can worsen the condition in the long run.
- Not moisturizing regularly.
- Wearing open-backed shoes while your feet are still healing.
- Standing for long periods.
- Applying too much pressure on your heels when standing. Do some exercises that will help you find your center of gravity. This will help relieve stress and pain from your heels. If you notice a lot of pain in your heels when you stand, you may be applying too much weight to your heels. You have to be continuous of how and where you apply your pressure and try to spread it out over the whole of your feet, not just one part.
When to consult a medical professional
Sometimes cracked heels are not just caused because of lack of moisture. Racked heels can be due to serious health conditions, medications, and more. If you find you have severe and painful cracked heels and that no home remedy is working, please seek medical attention.
Also if you notice that your feet are starting to crack all of a sudden while they never did before, it might be a good idea to see a doctor and determine what the cause might be. Listen to your body.