21 Jan, 2015
Combatting Cracked Heels – Everyday Care Tips
By Soap Blogger
Dry and cracked heels are perhaps the most common skin complaint of all to affect the feet. The problem can range in severity quite extremely – where as some will face little more than a slight hardening of the skin, others will develop fissures so severe they can be extremely painful and frequently bleed.
Which begs the primary question – what is it that causes cracked, dry and generally problematic heels?
Well, more often than not the primary trigger could be one of the following:
- Prolonged periods of standing on a regular basis
- Poor foot hygiene practices or general foot care
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Insoles that are worn or abrasive
- Excessive heat or dry air
- Cold weather
Of course, there are several examples here that aren’t easily avoidable and so in some cases sidestepping cracked heels entirely can be rather difficult. However, when and where the problem presents itself, there are ways and means by which those affected can both minimise discomfort and ideally reduce the severity of their own cracked heels.
For example, it’s common to assume that to buy a larger-than-necessary shoe or boot size will do your cracked heels a favour…this isn’t the case at all. If your heels have room to move around, there’s a good chance this will lead to further irritation of the skin and perhaps the developing of calluses. Your toes should be able to move slightly, but your heels should stay put.
Be wary of using water that’s too cold or too hot when washing problematic feet – any water that isn’t just the perfectly warm temperature can lead to further drying and cracking.
Choice of Soaps
Most conventional soaps contain an array of ingredients that cause skin dryness – not the ideal solution for already dry and cracked heels. Instead, choose organic soaps and all-natural cleansing products that are guaranteed not to further dry your skin.
Without getting carried away and causing irritation, it’s important to exfoliate your heels on a regular basis to get rid of the fast-accumulating dead skin. Again, use an all-natural preparation and nothing harsh.
It can feel nice to keep your heels wet for as long as possible after a wash, but in reality it’s much better for your skin if you dry them off as quickly and thoroughly as possible. When doing so however, use a soft dabbing motion as opposed to rubbing them with a dry towel.
A high-quality moisturiser should be used every day – ideally every morning and then again before going to bed. There are certain products on the market that are designed specifically for cracked heels, but generally speaking the best way to go is to use an all-natural cream, balm or lotion.
And just to wrap up on the same note, it can work wonders for cracked heels if you apply a good moisturiser and then sleep in soft cotton socks for the night – it might be worth investing in a pair of specially-made socks designed for overnight moisturising.