Cracked heels are a common foot problem among men and women. They can be unattractive and painful. Severe cases can cause bleeding and/or become infected.
Being overweight can cause cracked heels. Extra weight puts more pressure on the heel, making it expand sideways (thus increasing the pressure to "crack"). Going barefoot or wearing open-back shoes also allow the heels to expand sideways. Standing for a long time, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and certain nutrient deficiencies can lead to cracked heels.
People with naturally dry skin are more at risk of getting cracked heels. Older people are also more at risk because of decreased skin elasticity.
Natural Treatment for Cracked Heels
A deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids and zinc can cause cracked heels. Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids include cold water fish (such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring), walnuts, and flaxseed. Foods high in zinc include red meat, shellfish, and legumes.
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin well hydrated.
Soaking your feet in warm water for 15 minutes can help treat cracked heels by softening the skin.
When you are through soaking your feet, exfoliate your heels with a natural fiber washcloth or pumice stone to remove dead skin.
You can also mix some brown sugar with mashed strawberries and rub the mixture over your heels.
After you exfoliate your cracked heels, moisturize your skin with some sesame oil or olive oil.
Before you go to bed, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on your heels and massage it into the cracked areas. Wrap your feet with plastic wrap and put on socks. In the morning, wash your feet. Do this every night. Results should be seen in one week.
Other natural treatments for cracked heels include:
- Mash a banana, apply it over the affected area, leave it on for 10 minutes, and wash off.
- Massage your cracked heel with the inside of an avocado skin.
- Rub honey over your heels.
Photo by BFT247/Flickr
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