Cracked heels indicate lack of attention to the feet. Our feet also need tender love and care; they need to be cleaned and moisturized from time to time. Cracked heels are also called heel fissures and their symptoms include painful lines or cuts in the heel area that peel, itch and even bleed. Bleeding, painful cracked heels should not be overlooked as they are a surefire sign that something is wrong. As we grow older, cracked heels are normal, since the skin gets drier with age. People who are constantly on their feet for their job also tend to suffer from cracked heels. Cracked, dry heels are common in summer but can also get aggravated in winters when the air is dry.
In this guide, we will study 19 fantastic and effective home remedies which will help you say goodbye to dry, painful cracked heels.
1. Avoid standing a lot
If you have to stand a lot at home or work, especially on hardwood floors or wet bathroom floors, then it is time you stop. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent cracked heels.
2. Lose weight
Obesity is one of the main causes of cracked heels. In overweight people, the weight of the body is unevenly distributed which puts pressure on the pads of the feet causing them to expand sideways. Losing weight can prevent the problem, though you may need to take some additional measures to heal the cracks that have already formed on the feet.
Related content: How to treat heel pain
3. Avoid certain kinds of footwear
Certain types of shoes especially back-open or open-toed footwear cause the fat under the heels to expand sideways, aggravating the heel fissures. Choose comfortable shoes with extra padding that will minimize this pressure and support the heels. Also, always wear footwear instead of walking barefoot which tends to put pressure on the heels cracking the skin.
4. Soften cracked feet with warm water bath
A great proven, timeless remedy to soften cracked heels is to soak them for 15-20 minutes in a foot bath containing warm water. You can add some salt, baking soda or vinegar to the water or toss in some herbs or essential oils. Afterwards, dry the feet and apply coconut or olive oil on the feet. Do this at least 3 nights week before bedtime to soften dry, cracked and rough heels.
5. Petroleum jelly
Another fantastic home remedy for cracked heels in winters is petroleum jelly (Vaseline). Apply some jelly all over the heels at bedtime. Cover the feet with thick socks. You will wake up to softer, healthier feet in the morning.
6. Prevent exposure to water
If your feet are constantly in water, then you are more likely to suffer from cracked feet. Water robs the skin off its natural oils leading to excessive dryness. So, as far as possible, avoid standing on wet floors.
7. Use pumice stone
Pumice stone scrub can help remove the dead skin from the cracked heels. Wash and clean your feet with soap. Then, while the skin is still wet, use the pumice stone in round circular motion all over the heels. This will remove the dead skin. Dry the feet and follow up with a hydrogenated vegetable oil or a thick coat of shortening. Massage the oil in the feet and leave it on overnight. Do this several nights a week to get soft, healthy feet.
8. Banana pulp for cracked heels
Apply a thick layer of mashed, overripe banana on the feet. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it clean. Use this on a daily basis to get softer, healthier feet.
Avocado makes a great facial mask as well as hair mask. This wonderful fruit is also a great cure for cracked heels. Apply mashed avocado all over the heels and leave it on for 20 minutes. You can also blend pulp of coconut and avocado to use on the heels.
10. Over the counter foot creams
Many over the counter foot creams can help soften, hydrate and moisturize dried and cracked feet. Some of the best products are:
- O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet Ointment
- Yellow Bird’s All Natural Foot Cream– This one is antifungal and moisturizing and heals and repairs dry, cracked feet.
- NuSkin Sole Solution for dry, cracked heels
11. Mentholated creams
Another remedy to soften dry feet is mentholated creams like Vicks®VapoRub. Apply the rub all over the heels and cover up with socks, leaving it overnight. Use this remedy every night for softer, smoother feet.
12. Foot bath with paraffin wax
Heat paraffin wax in a foot bath. Add some coconut oil to the melted wax. Soak your feet in this bath for 10-15 minutes. Next, dry them with an old soft towel, leaving a slight residue on the feet. Cover up with socks to prevent the grease getting on your sheets. Wake up to gorgeous, softer feet the next morning. Repeat this remedy every night to get rid of cracked heels in winters.
13. Glycerin and rose water
Looking for home remedies for cracked heels in summer? Then use this remedy with glycerin which moisturizes dry skin. Rose water soothes the feet and reduces inflammation. You can also add a teaspoon of turmeric to glycerin to kill the germs in the cracks.
14. Rice flour and honey scrub for dry heels
Coarse ground rice flour makes an excellent homemade scrub for dry heels. Use the scrub on the feet by mixing together the flour with a tablespoon of honey. This remedy removes the peeling layers of the skin to reveal softer skin underneath. You can also add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of sweet almond oil or olive oil to the rice flour and honey mixture to soothe, moisturize, heal and soften dry, cracked heels.
15. Oatmeal and coconut oil
Oatmeal is a fantastic moisturizer that prevents irritation and dryness of skin. Grind oatmeal in a blender. Mix it with some coconut oil. Use circular motion to massage this paste all over the feet. The scrub exfoliates dead, dry skin and gives rise to softer, healthier feet.
16. Lime or lemon juice
Rub the heels with a wedge of lemon or lime juice for at least 10 minutes. (Do not use this remedy if your heels are bleeding). The acidic action of the juice will kill bacteria and clean your heels thoroughly. Use this remedy weekly until you see a change in the texture of your feet.
17. Epsom salt bath
Epsom salts are known to fight all kinds of skin problems, especially dry, itchy skin. Soak the feet in a warm foot bath to which you have added a cup of Epsom salts. Soak the feet in this bath for 10 minutes. Dry the feet and apply your favorite moisturizing foot cream. Used regularly, this home remedy for dry, cracked heels can show excellent results in a short period of time.
18. Heal cracked heels with Listerine
Listerine mouthwash can not only help you get rid of bad breath and other oral issues-it is a wonderful remedy for dandruff, lice and yes, also cracked heels! Soak your feet in warm water mixed with a cap full of Listerine mouthwash and vinegar solution. Soak for at least 10 minutes. Then scrub the feet with a foot brush or pumice stone. Apply your favorite foot cream or oil and cover the feet with socks. This remedy heals the feet by eliminating bacteria in the cracks.
19. Consume a diet rich in vitamins and minerals
A vitamin and mineral deficiency, particularly in calcium, iron, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids is responsible for dry, cracked heels. So eat a diet rich in foods like fruits, vegetables, sea food, cereals, whole grains, nuts and seeds. If needed, take a multi-vitamin and mineral pill.
Use these 19 wonderful remedies and flaunt your feet in style!