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Cracked heels are a problem that is not only embarrassing but also extremely painful. They sear and hurt with every step you take. Sometimes, the pain is so intense that you end up limping your way to places. Cracked heels can also be a cause for much embarrassment, especially when you go shopping for shoes or when you wear sandals or slippers. Those dark fissures and scaly pieces of skin make your feet look old and ugly. So, how do you deal with these painful cracks? What steps can you take to help cure them? Nothing can be achieved overnight and the same rule applies here. To get rid of these horrid cracks, you have to follow a stringent skincare routine and be perseverant about it. Here are a few steps that are sure to help soften and cure cracked heels and relieve pain.
Image courtesy: ladycarehealth
Wear shoes that fit well:
You might wonder what shoes size has to do with cracked heels, right? Well, a lot actually. Ill fitting shoes cause your feet to move around within the shoe. As a result, your soles end up getting bruised and chapped. If you persist in wearing such shoes, your feet are sure to develop cracks and calluses. So, be very particular about the size of your shoes and only wear ones that fit perfectly. Wear socks to cushion your feet and protect them from chafing.
Cleanse your feet thoroughly and regularly:
Hygiene is extremely important if you have cracked heels, because even the smallest amount of dust or dirt can lead to infections. So, wash your feet in warm water (not hot water) daily. Warm water not only cleanses your feet well, but also relieves pain. Add a non-alcoholic cleansing agent to the water to disinfect and eradicate bacteria and impurities. You could also use a readymade foot scrub to cleanse your feet. Scrub your feet well but avoid over-washing them or soaking them in water for too long.
Exfoliate to get rid of dead skin:
Cracks make our heels rough and hard. This is because dead skin accumulates on the areas surrounding the cracks and your whole heel begins to feel rock-hard. To smoothen and soften your heels, it’s important that you get rid of all the dead skin and this is exactly what exfoliation does. Use a pumice stone or loofah to massage your heels and slough of dead skin. Move the stone in circular motions covering your entire heel and repeat till the dead skin gets knocked off. Exfoliate your heels after soaking them in warm water or bathing to get rid of dead skin quickly.
Dry your feet properly:
Often, we don’t dry our feet with a towel after washing but, leave them to air-dry by themselves. The problem that occurs here is that certain areas, like the gaps between our toes remain damp. These areas act as fertile places for bacteria to breed and grow. Also, letting water remain on your cracks will only result in them drying out further. So, after washing your feet, make it a practice to wipe your feet well with a soft, clean towel.
Moisturize your feet well:
The best way to keep the skin on your feet soft, supple and crack-free is to moisturize it well and frequently. So, invest in an enriching foot lotion and massage your feet, especially your heels with it after washing your feet or bathing. Remember, when it comes to moisturizing your feet, there’s nothing like too much. So, slather on moisturizer whenever you get the chance too.
The Body Shop offers a range of organic skin care products for hands and feet. These creams, butters and lotions are made of good quality natural ingredients and provide intensive conditioning and protection. Check out these products here: Hand & Feet Creams & Lotions
Another great way to soften skin and heal cracks is to try out some hydrating, conditioning overnight treatments. These “treatments” are nothing but homemade packs that have to be applied on feet and left overnight. One such mixture can be made by combining Vaseline and lemon juice. Rub this mixture on your cracks and pull on a pair of socks. Rinse off this mixture the next morning. Another remedy is to simply rub olive oil or vegetable oil on the affected areas and leave it to soak into your skin overnight.
Protect your feet from the elements:
Exposing your feet to dust or cold will only aggravate and intensify your cracks. So, make sure you wear footwear that shields your feet from the elements. Closed shoes are the best option. Avoid wearing slippers and sandals as much as possible. If you wish to wear open shoes, it makes sense to slip on a pair of flesh-tinted socks first.
With these tips, your feet are sure to stay soft, smooth and crack-free. However, remember to be persistent in your efforts because only then will you start seeing and enjoying results.