Top 5 Tips for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are one of the most common foot problems. Though the condition isn’t serious in most cases, it’s embarrassing for sure. If you have been affected by cracked heels and don’t know what to do, we bring you the top five tips as suggested by expert podiatrists.

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1. Use a Foot Soak: Since the skin around the cracked heels is usually drier and thicker than the rest of your skin in most cases, getting rid of it isn’t easy. If you try to remove it by applying pressure, it may split. Using a foot soak is the ideal solution to soften the skin so that you can exfoliate it easily. However, it’s important not to use hot water as it will make the skin drier. Use lukewarm, soapy water instead and soak your feet for about 20 minutes.  

2. Follow It up with Exfoliation: Use a pumice stone, a foot scrubber or a loofah to gently rub your heels. Since the foot soak has softened the skin, removing the hard, dead skin would be easier. However, make sure not to scrub your feet vigorously or exfoliate when they’re dry because doing so would increase the risk of damaging the skin.

3. Use Foot Cream/Moisturizers/Emollients: Pat your feet dry and apply a foot cream or a thick moisturizer on the affected area. You may even use emollients (as suggested by your podiatrist) since they penetrate the skin, fill the gaps between skin flakes and decrease water loss. All these make your skin feel soft, smooth and flexible. After you’ve applied a moisturizer or foot cream, apply a layer of petroleum jelly on top to lock in the moisture.

4. Wear 100% Cotton Socks to Bed: Doing this will not only prevent your bed sheets from getting stained but will also help to seal in the moisture. Additionally, cotton socks will allow your heel skin to breathe. No wonder podiatrists suggest slipping on a pair of thin cotton socks at bedtime to let the moisturizer work and facilitate faster healing of cracked heels.  

5. Seek Professional Help If the Above Tips Don't Work: The tips mentioned above combined with regular foot care should get rid of cracked heels easily. If the condition doesn’t improve within a week or two, you shouldn’t think twice about seeking your podiatrist’s help. Remember that ignoring cracked heels may cause the development of deeper fissures over time, which will increase your risk of infection. This, in turn, may lead to serious complications, especially if you already have pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, etc.). 

Final Words

Feet are often the most neglected part of our body. No wonder that in most cases, cracked heels are ignored unless they start causing discomfort or pain or threaten to turn serious. If self-care measures fail to bring relief or don't cause any visible difference in your feet condition, it’s important to talk to your foot doctor to know about the other treatment options available. Such options may include using stronger softening or removal agents (to remove the dead skin), application of medical glue to seal cracks, strapping the heel with bandages, using orthotics (heel pads, shoe inserts or heel cups), etc. 


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