Very often, we tend to neglect our feet due to which both men and women all around the world end up suffering from foot problems, calluses and most of all cracked heels. You may not realize it but in your life, you will probably end up walking thousands of miles. Every step you take, your whole weight is seized by your heels. So, it stands to reason that if you are not taking good care of your feet and heels, you will soon experience serious wears and tears. Most Podiatrists call this splits or fissures in the heels. And these splits or cracks can be very inconvenient in dry or hot climatic places or in such places where its citizens wear sandals continuously. Older people are extremely distressed and troubled by these fissures caused by natural wear and tear and not taking good care of their feet.
Callused and cracked heels can cause excruciating pain to people. But if these cracks on the heel are really deep, it can cause your heels to bleed and for your delicate deep-skin structures to experience an abundance of pain. Luckily for you, the causes of cracked heels can be easily controlled and subdued.
There can be multiple reasons that lead to the cracking of heels. Some of them are:
- Dry climate
- Lack of favorable vitamins and minerals
- Being on your feet, continuously, for an extended period of time
- Being overweight, causing your feet to bear all your body weight
- Having diabetes
- Wearing unsuited or ill-fitted footwear
- Always wearing open back footwear
- A lack of omega 3 fatty acids
- A deficiency of zinc
- Skin conditions like hydrolysis, eczema or psoriasis
- Unsuitable medication causing you to have dry skin
The things you do in your daily routine can also be partly responsible for the development of cracks and splits in the heels. If you stand on your feet for too long without any break without any proper protection or care for your feet, you are bound to have your skin of the heels dried up, split and cracked.
What Can You Do About Your Cracked Heels?
You may know the phrase “prevention is better than cure.” The same applies in this case as well. It is always preferable to begin your treatment for cracked heels before the actual symptoms begin displaying themselves. If you observe that the skin of your heels has started to itch a lot or the skin is peeling or flaking, it is a clear-cut sign that your heels are going to be cracked or split. At this point, you should start to hydrating yourself and begin caring for your heel skin adequately right away.
If you already have cracked heels, don’t despair. There are many things that you can do to help alleviate this problem. Here is a vinegar based home remedy to help you solve your problem with cracked heels.
Soak Your Cracked Feet
The first thing you have to make sure is to keep your cracked feet clean. Begin by washing your feet. If you have split, bleeding heels, make sure to give your bleeding heels a nice warm soak daily. For that, you can either purchase a foot spa or use a basin that you already have. Here are some of the rudimentary instructions for a good, healthy foot soak:
Use lukewarm water to cover your ankles to the cracked heels in the foot spa or the basin. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water. If you wish to, you can also add drops of essential oils such as lavender which has aroma therapeutic and relaxing properties or tea tree oil which is famous for its antiseptic and antifungal properties.
Soak your cracked heels in this lukewarm water solution for 15 to 30 minutes and use the following vinegar based foot scrub to heal your cracked heels. Repeat this treatment 2 to 3 times weekly.
Vinegar – Vinegar has amazing sanitizing and skin softening properties. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties that will help to soothe your rough heels.
Olive Oil – Olive oil helps to soften rough and cracked heels and it hydrating properties helps to moisturize your split heels. Hence, it quells dryness and peeling away.
Salt – Salt is a great skin exfoliator which will buff away dead skins from the rough heels.
INGREDIENTS FOR VINEGAR SCRUB FOR DRY, ROUGHED AND CRACKED HEELS:
Things you will need:
- 2 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
Take a bowl and add the salt and olive oil and mix it. Add vinegar to this mixture and again, mix it well. After the warm water soak, use this scrub mixture to scour away the dead cells from your cracked heels. Scrub your feet gently, concentrating on the heels for a few minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. After this scrub, use a suitable moisturizer on your feet. Wear socks to bed to retain moisture in your heels.
Other home remedies for dry, rough and cracked heels:
Home-made heel ointment
With the following ingredients, you can make your very own heel ointment to heal your cracked heels:
- 1/4th cup of shea butter
- 2 tablespoons of boiling water
- 3 tablespoons of beeswax
- 1/4th cup of magnesium flakes
- 1/4th cup of coconut oil
Mix all the above ingredients well and apply to your freshly cleaned heels daily. Put on a sock after the application so that the ointment seeps through your skin.
Avoid Hot Water
Too much exposure to hot water will dry out your skin and make your cracked heels worse even worse. Try to bathe in very warm water only to remedy this. Add Epsom salts or essential oils for better skin nourishment.
Lime and Sugar
A quick 5-minute routine that you can undertake is to a lemon half and three teaspoon of sugar. Dip the lemon half into the bowl of sugar, and then scrub on your cracked heels until the sugar granules melt. Let it dry. Wash it off with warm water and apply moisturizer after.