Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, they can also be rather painful. When the skin around the heels thickens or becomes dry, it tends to lose its suppleness and elasticity, which can cause it to split from the pressures of walking, standing for long periods, pregnancy or excess weight.
Just a few of the other causes include nutritional deficiencies (particularly a lack of zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and iron), dehydration, extreme temperatures, ill-fitting shoes and hormonal conditions.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective natural remedies that can help repair those cracked heels .
Overnight Oil Treatment
Oils like coconut oil or olive oil are one of the best ways to prevent and treat cracked heels. Shortly before bedtime scrub your feet with a pumice stone and wash them thoroughly.
Apply the oil liberally to the heels and soles of your feet, and then put on a thick pair of clean cotton socks and leave them on overnight while you sleep. Repeat this treatment for at least a few days, or until the cracks have completely healed.
Raw papaya is also a great remedy for treating dry, cracked feet. It contains papain, which is an enzyme that is sometimes referred to as an “organic alpha-hydroxy substitute.” Just mash up some papaya and massage it into your heels. Leave it on for about ten minutes and then rinse. If you don’t have access to fresh papaya, try using mashed bananas instead.
Oatmeal-Jojoba Oil Paste
This combination is another extremely effective moisturizer that can help heal those cracks. Combine one tablespoon of oatmeal that’s been ground into a fine powder with just enough jojoba oil to make a paste. Apply to the cracks in your feet, gently filling them by massaging the paste over the cracks. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes; rinse and pat dry. Repeat daily until the cracks have healed.
Rice Flour Scrub
This wonderful home remedy uses rice flour for a natural grained-scrub, as well as honey and apple cider vinegar, which are known to be very beneficial to the feet. Combine 3 tablespoons of rice flour with 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a few drops of olive oil.
Soak your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes and then rub them gently with a towel to remove dead skin cells. Next, apply the rice flour scrub to your heels, rubbing it in gently. Massage for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water.
Rosewater and Glycerin
Combining glycerin and rose water is also quite effective for cracked heels. Glycerin softens the skin and rosewater adds vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E, along with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Mix equal amounts of glycerin and rosewater and rub the solution onto your heels and feet daily just before bedtime.
Now that your heels are nice and smooth again, be sure to keep your feel well-moisturized and protected from extreme temperatures to prevent cracks and dryness from developing again. Drink plenty of water every day and give them the nourishment they need through a healthy, balanced diet.