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Cracked heels are a very common problem and can range in severity from a cosmetic issue to a painful problem.
In addition to dry, thickened skin, the problem may be accompanied by symptoms like redness, itching, inflammation and peeling skin. Taking proper precautions right away can prevent cracks from getting deeper and causing bleeding and pain.
Some of the causes of cracked heels are dry air, lack of moisture, improper foot care, an unhealthy diet, aging, prolonged standing on hard floors and wearing the wrong types of shoes. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, corns and calluses, diabetes and thyroid disease may also contribute to the problem.
There are several home remedies for cracked heels that you can try to resolve the problem.
Here some remedies for cracked heels :
# Vegetable Oil
A variety of vegetable oils can be used to treat and prevent cracked heels. Olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil or any other hydrogenated vegetable oil will work. For best results, use this remedy before going to bed to allow ample time for the oil to fully penetrate your skin.
First soak your feet in soapy water and scrub your feet with a pumice stone. Wash your feet and then dry them thoroughly and apply any vegetable oil liberally on your heels and soles. Put on a pair of clean socks and leave them on overnight while you sleep. In the morning, your heels will be noticeably softer. Repeat this for a few days until the cracks in your heels are gone completely.
# Rice Flour
Exfoliating the skin on your feet and heels will help remove dead skin, thus preventing cracking and dryness. Rice flour can be used a part of a homemade exfoliating scrub.
To make the scrub, mix a handful of ground rice with a few teaspoons of honey and apple cider vinegar. Stir it until it becomes a thick paste. If the cracking on your heels is extremely bad, add a tablespoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and then gently scrub them with the rice flour paste. Repeat the process a few times a week until you are satisfied with the results.
# Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as margosa leaves or neem, is an effective remedy for your cracked feet, especially when they become itchy and infected. Neem soothes dry, irritated skin and fights infection, thanks to its fungicidal properties.
Crush a handful of Indian lilac leaves to make a fine paste and add three teaspoons of turmeric powder. Mix it well.
Apply the paste on the cracks and leave it on for half an hour. Wash your feet with warm water and dry them with a clean cloth.
The acidic property in lemons can be very effective in softening rough skin that leads to cracking. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes in warm water with lemon juice added to it. Avoid using very hot water, which can cause your feet to dry out more. Scrub your cracked heels using a pumice stone. Wash your feet and pat dry with a towel.
# Rosewater and Glycerin
The combination of glycerin and rose water makes an effective home treatment for cracked heels. Glycerin softens the skin, which is why it is widely used in cosmetics. Rose water adds vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Just mix equal amounts of glycerin and rose water thoroughly and rub it on your heels and feet daily before going to bed at night.