The heel is one of the parts of the body that supports the greatest continuous pressure, and it’s ready for it! The skin of the heel, for example, can be up to 50 times thicker than that of the cheek, but that does not free it from suffering injuries known as “cracks” or “fissures”.
Although cracking is often ignored, it can cause serious problems in the long run, mainly because it increases the risk of infection. Let’s see how to treat cracked heels in a simple and effective way.
Our heels can crack when the skin that covers them is dry and cannot expand as required when walking.
It is a common condition, which can be especially harmful in people who are obese or overweight, with vascular insufficiency, or with diabetes.
- Natural care for dry skin
The constant pressure while walking can lead to the heels bleeding, which favors the entry of harmful microorganisms that cause diseases and infections.
How to prevent cracked heels
You can avoid the appearance of fissures or cracks in the heels by taking into account the following tips:
- Avoid using highly perfumed soaps.
- Avoid wearing very high heels or narrow and uncomfortable shoes.
- Hydrate yourself properly (drinking between 2 and 2 ½ liters of water per day). You can also consume foods rich in water, such as cucumber, watermelon, or melon, among others.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet rich in grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. This diet will provide essential nutrients to take care of the health of the skin.
- Do not abuse very hot showers or baths, as they dry out the skin.
- Don’t scratch or rub your heels if they itch.
- Keep your feet well moisturized, especially in cold and dry seasons.
- Use insoles in the heel area to cushion impacts.
If you’re already experiencing discomfort and pain from cracked heels, you can try the following home remedies to find some relief:
Aloe vera or aloe is a shrub with a short stem, grayish-green triangular leaves with small teeth and a shiny gel inside, which can help combat cracked heels.
Different studies found that this substance has a great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, healing, toning and deep penetration power into the skin, thanks to its ability to retain water and the presence of vitamins A and E.
It also has compounds, such as acetylsalicylic acid, auxins, and gibberellins, which seem to act as pain relievers, anesthetics, and healing agents, ideal for correcting cracked heel wounds.
How to use it
To take advantage of the protective and renewing effects of aloe vera and take care of cracked heels, you should first thoroughly wet your feet in hot water and then gently rub with a pumice stone or loofah to remove traces of dead skin.
Then rinse and dry well (in the case of cracked heels, it is always recommended to pat dry, never rub as that can make the situation worse).
Apply a thick layer of the aloe vera gel to your heels and put on socks (preferably cotton, although they can also be wool).
Let it rest overnight and the next day remove by rinsing with warm water. Repeat this procedure every day or every other day.
In addition to being one of the most consumed foods in the world, the banana is a very complete fruit that provides essential nutrients. These are responsible for many of its protective, moisturizing and rejuvenating effects on the skin.
For this reason, it is often used as home remedies to relieve symptoms of cracked heels, as it promotes skin elasticity.
How to use them
You can take advantage of the benefits of bananas by crushing them into a paste. Rub the preparation on the cracked heels (previously soaked in hot water and dried) and leave them to act for half an hour.
Then rinse your feet with lukewarm water and gently pat dry again. You can repeat this procedure as many times as you want until you notice good results.
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid carbonate, or baking soda, sodium bicarbonate is a white crystalline compound.
It is capable of releasing carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with acids, which is why it became an essential ingredient in making soft drinks and cleaning products.
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It is also used for medicinal purposes, as it has anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties, useful to remove dead skin, and relieve cracked heels.
How to use it
Soak your heels in hot water and once dry apply a mixture of baking soda (the proportion is 2 well-dissolved tablespoons per cup of warm water).
Then proceed to rub gently (without drying the preparation) with a loofah or pumice stone.
Finally, rinse with clean warm water and pat dry with a towel. Due to the exfoliating effect of bicarbonate, it is advisable to limit this practice to two or three times a week maximum.
Lemon with Vaseline
Petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly or petroleum jelly, is a homogeneous mixture of long-chain saturated hydrocarbons. It is obtained from the refining of a heavy oil fraction.
It is commonly used in skin care, especially to relieve dryness, for its moisturizing effects. It is also prioritized over lotions as it does not cause irritation.
Lemon, beyond being a popular food and dressing, can be complemented very well with petroleum jelly, since its citric acid promotes flaking and cell regeneration in the skin.
How to use them
You must first moisten the heels, to do this, soak your feet in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Then pat them dry.
Once ready, prepare a mixture with two tablespoons of petroleum jelly and 10 drops of lemon juice. Apply the preparation on the affected areas, cover with wool socks and leave it on overnight.
The following day, you can remove with warm water. Try to repeat this procedure every day or every other day.
Honey is a food produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. It is composed of between 70 and 80% sugar, distributing the remaining percentage in water, minerals, proteins and acids.
Its use is very popular to make facial masks and thus renew and soften the skin. But this benefit is not only limited to the face, as it can be used to heal cracked skin on the heels.
How to use it
In a large bowl with hot water add a cup of honey and mix to dissolve. When it’s warm, dip your feet in and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. You can massage gently to enhance the effects and achieve a greater penetration of the preparation.
Then you can exfoliate wet feet with a loofah or pumice stone, rinse again, remove any remaining preparation with warm water and finally pat dry.
You can repeat this procedure as many times as you want, but it is advisable to do it before sleeping.
Vinegar is one of the most widely used dressing, but it is also an important ingredient in many home remedies.
With regard to cracked heels, it can help smooth rough and dead skin, making it easier to exfoliate.
How to use it
In a large bowl, mix the vinegar and hot water (the vinegar should make up 1/3 of the mixture).
Soak your feet and let them rest for 15 minutes, then remove and rub with loofahs or a pumice stone.
Then rinse with clean water and pat dry.
Remember to apply a little of your moisturizer after this procedure.
Heels can crack when the overlying skin is dry and cannot expand as required when walking.
This constant pressure can cause the heels to bleed, which favors the entry of harmful microorganisms that cause diseases and infections.
To prevent this situation, you should avoid high or narrow shoes, hydrate yourself, eat a balanced and healthy diet, do not abuse hot baths, do not scratch if your heels itch, and use insoles to cushion impacts, among other measures.
You can also opt for home remedies based on honey, baking soda, lemon and petroleum jelly, vinegar or aloe vera.
Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.