Cracked Heels: 17 Natural Remedies and Prevention Tips

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Cracked heels are a common foot condition caused by dry skin and can lead to discomfort and pain. Natural remedies can deeply moisturize, soothe, and heal cracked heels, while regular exfoliation and proper foot hygiene can prevent recurrence.

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, affect millions of people worldwide.
This common foot condition can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to infections if left untreated.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the causes, symptoms, and natural remedies for cracked heels, helping you achieve smoother, healthier feet.

What causes cracked heels?

Several factors contribute to the development of cracked heels:

– Dry climate and cold weather
– Prolonged standing or walking barefoot
– Wearing open-back shoes
– Medical conditions like diabetes, eczema, and psoriasis
– Aging and loss of skin elasticity
– Nutritional deficiencies

Cracked heels: Signs and symptoms

Look out for these common signs of cracked heels:

– Dry, thickened skin around the heel area
– Visible cracks or fissures in the skin
– Pain when walking or standing
– Redness and inflammation
– In severe cases, bleeding or infection

reason for dry cracked heels

Top natural remedies for cracked heels

  • Coconut oil for deep moisturization and antimicrobial protection

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, which has excellent moisturizing properties.
It penetrates deeply into the skin, providing long-lasting hydration.
Additionally, its antimicrobial properties help prevent infections in cracked heels.

  • Honey, moisturizing, antibacterial, and wound-healing

Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture.
Its antibacterial properties help prevent infections, while its enzymes and nutrients promote wound healing.
Apply raw honey directly to cracked heels and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

  • Banana foot mask, softening and nourishing

Bananas are rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, which help maintain skin elasticity and hydration.
The natural oils in bananas also provide deep moisturization.
Mash a ripe banana and apply it to your heels for 20 minutes before rinsing.

  • Olive oil, moisturizing and skin repair

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which help to moisturize and repair damaged skin.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin.
Massage warm olive oil into your heels before bed and wear socks overnight.

  • Epsom salt foot soak, softening and exfoliation

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) helps to soften the skin and reduce inflammation.
It can also help exfoliate dead skin cells.
Dissolve 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.

  • Aloe Vera gel, soothing, moisturizing, and healing

Aloe vera contains compounds that help soothe irritated skin, lock in moisture, and promote healing.
Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help reduce redness and swelling.
Apply pure aloe vera gel to your heels and leave it on overnight.

  • Shea butter, deep moisturization and skin repair

Shea butter is rich in fatty acids and vitamins that deeply moisturize the skin and promote cell regeneration.
It forms a protective barrier on the skin, helping to lock in moisture.
Apply a thick layer of shea butter to your heels before bed.

  • Glycerin and Rosewater, hydration and skin softening

Glycerin is a powerful humectant that draws moisture to the skin, while rosewater has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mix equal parts glycerin and rosewater, apply to your heels, and wear socks overnight.

  • Oatmeal scrub, gentle exfoliation and moisturization

Oatmeal acts as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells while also soothing and moisturizing the skin.
Mix ground oatmeal with honey and milk to create a paste, apply to your heels, and gently scrub before rinsing.

  • Vegetable oil massage, moisturization and improved circulation

Vegetable oils like sesame or avocado oil are rich in vitamins and fatty acids that nourish the skin.
Massaging these oils into your heels not only moisturizes but also improves blood circulation, promoting healing.

Remember, consistency is key when using these natural remedies.
Apply them regularly, preferably daily, for best results.
If your cracked heels persist or worsen despite these treatments, consult a healthcare professional.

Natural products for cracked heel care

When looking for natural products to treat cracked heels, it’s important to choose items that offer deep moisturization, exfoliation, and healing properties.
Here are some effective natural ingredients and top-rated products:

  • Heel moisturizer

Shea butter is renowned for its deep moisturizing properties and ability to soften rough skin.

Top product: O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet Foot Cream (ad)

– Contains allantoin, a compound that helps penetrate thick, dry skin
– Creates a protective layer on the skin’s surface
– Highly effective for extremely dry, cracked feet

  • Coconut oil products

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and deeply moisturizing.

Top product: Coconut Oil Foot Cream by Burt’s Bees (ad)

– Blends coconut oil with vitamin E
– Helps soften calluses and repair cracked skin
– Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue

  • Best cream for dry cracked feet

A cream is designed to provide deep hydration for extremely dry, cracked feet.
It must be formulated to penetrate thick, callused skin and provide long-lasting moisture.

Top product: High Dive Intensive Hydration Cream by Barefoot Scientist (ad)

– Contains natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E
– Includes a blend of 16 hydrating extracts and oils
– Non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly
– Fragrance-free, making it suitable for sensitive skin

  • Aloe Vera gels

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties.

Top product: Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel (ad)

– 100% organic, cold-pressed aloe vera
– Can be used directly on cracked heels or mixed with other moisturizers
– Absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue

  • Essential oil blends

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and tea tree have healing and antimicrobial properties.

Top product: Majestic Pure Lavender Essential Oil (ad)

– 100% pure and natural lavender oil, known for its soothing and healing properties.
– Can be used for aromatherapy, massage, and as a natural remedy for skin issues, including cracked heels.
– Helps prevent infections in cracked skin.

  • Urea cream for cracked heels

While not entirely natural, urea is a compound naturally present in skin and is highly effective for treating cracked heels.

Top product: Eucerin Advanced Repair Foot Cream (ad)

– Contains 10% urea for intense moisturization
– Fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin
– Clinically proven to provide 48-hour moisture

  • Natural foot scrubs

Exfoliation is crucial for removing dead skin and allowing moisturizers to penetrate.

Top product: Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub (ad)

– Exfoliates dead skin cells while moisturizing
– Helps soften rough, dry skin on feet
– Can be used on both feet and body

When using these products, consistency is key.
Apply them daily, preferably after bathing or soaking your feet, for best results.
Remember to follow up with a good moisturizer and, if possible, wear socks overnight to lock in the moisture and allow the products to work effectively.

skin fissure on foot

Lifestyle changes for healthier feet

Maintaining healthy feet requires more than just occasional care; it involves consistent lifestyle changes that promote overall foot health.
Here are some effective lifestyle adjustments to help prevent and manage cracked heels:

– Maintain proper foot hygiene

  • Daily cleaning: Wash your feet daily with mild soap and lukewarm water.
    Avoid hot water as it can strip the skin of natural oils, leading to dryness.
  • Dry thoroughly: Ensure your feet are completely dry, especially between the toes, to prevent fungal infections.

– Regular moisturization

  • Daily moisturizing: Apply a thick moisturizer or natural oils like coconut oil, shea butter, or aloe vera gel to your feet every day, especially after bathing.
  • Overnight treatment: For extra hydration, apply a generous amount of moisturizer and wear cotton socks overnight to lock in moisture.

– Exfoliation

  • Weekly exfoliation: Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove dead skin cells once a week.
    This helps prevent the build-up of thick, dry skin that can lead to cracks.
  • Foot scrubs: Consider using natural foot scrubs made from ingredients like sugar, salt, or oatmeal to exfoliate and soften the skin.

– Proper footwear

  • Supportive shoes: Wear shoes that provide good support and cushioning.
    Avoid high heels and open-back shoes that can increase pressure on the heels.
  • Custom orthotics: If you have biomechanical issues, consider using custom orthotics to distribute pressure evenly and improve foot alignment.
    This can help reduce stress on the heels and prevent cracks.

– Hydration and nutrition

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Balanced diet: Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that promote skin health, such as vitamins A, C, E, and zinc.
    Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are excellent choices.

– Avoid harsh conditions

  • Limit exposure to harsh weather: Protect your feet from extreme weather conditions.
    In cold weather, wear warm socks and moisturize regularly.
    In hot weather, avoid walking barefoot on hot surfaces.
  • Avoid hot showers: Opt for lukewarm water when bathing to preserve the skin’s natural oils and prevent dryness.

– Preventive measures

  • Foot powders: Use foot powders to absorb moisture and prevent fungal infections, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • Protective footwear in public areas: Always wear flip-flops or sandals in public places like swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers to protect your feet from bacteria and fungi.

– Regular check-ups

  • Podiatrist visits: Regularly visit a podiatrist, especially if you have underlying health conditions like diabetes.
    A podiatrist can provide professional care and advice tailored to your needs.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes into your daily routine, you can significantly improve the health of your feet and prevent the recurrence of cracked heels.

deep crack in foot

Steps to smoother, healthier heels

By understanding the causes of cracked heels and implementing these natural remedies and prevention tips, you can achieve smoother, pain-free feet.

Remember, consistency is key in foot care.
If problems persist, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice for the best treatment

Frequently asked questions about cracked feet

What causes my feet to crack?

Cracked feet, or heel fissures, are often caused by dry skin. Factors such as prolonged standing, wearing open-back shoes, walking barefoot, and exposure to dry or cold weather can exacerbate the condition. Medical conditions like diabetes, eczema, and hypothyroidism can also contribute to cracked heels.

How can I heal a deep crack in my foot?

To heal a deep crack in your foot, start by soaking your feet in warm water to soften the skin. Gently exfoliate with a pumice stone to remove dead skin. Apply a thick moisturizer or a specialized foot cream containing urea or lactic acid. Cover your feet with socks to lock in moisture. For severe cracks, consider using a liquid bandage to protect the area and promote healing.

What can dry, cracked feet tell me about my overall health?

Dry, cracked feet can indicate underlying health issues such as dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, or medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders. Persistent dryness and cracking may also suggest poor foot hygiene or inadequate moisturization.

How do my feet show signs of not having enough vitamin B12?

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can manifest in your feet through symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and a burning sensation. Additionally, you may notice pale or yellowish skin, and in severe cases, sores or cracks that are slow to heal. If you suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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"Natural health is essential to me; I've always relied on natural remedies alongside traditional medicine."

"The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment."

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