Cracked heels make an unattractive sight and are many a times painful as well. In some cases, the person can also suffer from bleeding from these cracks. It is a problem common to people who have dry skin and for those who live in the dry climate regions. The condition worsens during the winter months. People with cracked heel problem should avoid walking barefoot or using footwear with open back, as it aggravates the condition.
The most common cause is dry skin. If the skin around the heels thickens, it is more prone to cracks, because of the pressure exerted on the feet in general and heels in particular. Other than this, there are other factors which can also cause this condition. If you stand for an extended period of time, you will want to protect your feet. It is best to avoid standing on hard surfaces for a long time. An overweight person is more prone to them. Due to the weight, there is a lot of pressure on the fat pad under the heel. This leads to the skin on the heel to expand sideways. If the skin is not soft and flexible it cracks under the pressure. Using shoes with open backs is also one of the causes.
Since the heels are not covered, it leads to the skin expanding sideways and cracking in the process. Some medical or skin conditions can also give rise to cracked heels. In these conditions, there is unnatural drying of skin, because of less sweating, etc. Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can give rise to this condition. One of the causes is not taking sufficient care of the feet. Deficiency of some nutrients may also give rise to heel pain.
The first step is to take care of the feet. It is important to have a daily cleaning and moisturizing routine. This helps in curing the problem to a large extent. Soak the feet in warm soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then clean the feet and pat dry. Then you can make use of any one of the home remedies given below.
White Petroleum Jelly and Lemon Juice
Mix juice of one lemon with one teaspoon of white petroleum jelly. Rub the mixture into cleaned heels, till it is absorbed into the skin. Do not step the feet on the floor immediately. The best is to cover the feet with socks and go to bed. Wash with warm water in the morning, so that dust does not stick to the heels.
Glycerin and Rose Water
Like white petroleum jelly, this is one of the best remedies for treating the problem. Mix glycerin and rose water in equal quantities. Apply the mixture liberally on the heels and rub so that the mixture is absorbed into the skin.
Ripe banana is also used for treating cracks on heels. Take pulp of one ripe banana and apply it all over the feet. Leave the pulp on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
After the daily cleaning routine, apply hydrogenated vegetable oil on the feet liberally. Cover the feet with a thick pair of socks. Leave the oil on the feet overnight. In the morning use warm water to wash the feet.
Paraffin Wax and Mustard Oil
Melt paraffin wax and mix mustard oil in it. Apply this mixture on the heels, cover and leave it overnight. Rinse it off with warm water.
For treating cracked heels, it is important that you have a daily routine of cleaning and moisturizing. Wearing closed heels shoes is also important. If you suffer from heels with cracks that also bleed, it is recommended you talk to your health care professional. There can be an underlying condition, which needs to be diagnosed.