Some heels, like some people, crack under pressure. And your heels are under a lot of pressure. Standing, walking, running – anytime you are up and about, your feet, and your heels, in particular, are taking a beating. This can cause any number of problems after a while, including cracked heels.
One survey conducted by the Institute for Preventive Foot Health found that approximately 20% of American suffer from cracked skin on their feet, primarily on their heels.
Cracks in the skin on your heels happen when the skin becomes too dry. When those dry layers of skin are regularly exposed to pressure and friction, they can harden and build up into thick, dry callouses that will eventually crack. This can make standing or walking uncomfortable or painful.
But since cracks on the heels are primarily caused by dryness, the key to treatment should come as no surprise: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Well, there is a little more to resolving the issue and easing the pain. Here are some tips for getting those cracked heels back into walking shape:
- Use heel balm. Over-the-counter heel balms can moisturize, soften, and exfoliate dead skin. Look for balms that contain ingredients such as urea, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and saccharide isomerate. Apply the balm in the morning to increase skin elasticity before going about your day and try to apply a couple more times throughout the day.
- Soak and exfoliate your feet. Soak your feet in lukewarm, soapy water for up to 20 minutes, then use a loofah, foot scrubber, or pumice stone to remove any hard, thick skin. Pat your feet dry and apply heel balm, then wear socks if possible to keep the moisture-rich balm in place. You can also get moisturizing heel sleeves, which are like socks that contain therapeutic oils and vitamins to help moisturize your skin.
- Coconut oil. A natural wonder, coconut oil applied to dry, cracked skin can immediately begin restoring moisture to your heels. Since coconut oil stays solid at room temperature, it is easy and less messy to apply than other oils. Spread some on your heels before bedtime, put on a sock, and let it work its magic while you sleep.
- Avoid scrubbing and harsh soaps. If you scrub the damaged skin too vigorously, it can compound the damage. Similarly, harsh soaps can further dry out your already dry skin.
Call JAWS podiatry Today to Schedule an Appointment
At JAWS podiatry in Hollywood, Florida, we utilize the most advanced and non-invasive techniques to reduce pain and speed recovery for individuals suffering from foot and ankle problems. If you’d like to learn more about the innovative and effective treatments we provide or how we can help you with your foot and ankle issues, please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.