Heels dry and crack in some cases due to lack of moisture. This is common in women since their feet are exposed to wind because of open shoes or sandals that they wear compared to men who put on closed shoes and stockings most of the time.
From stylish and elegant shoes to simple casual shoes, most women’s shoes are open exposing the heels and toes or some sandals have one round string touching to the sole.
When the sensitive skin on the bottom of the feet and heels becomes too dry, it can split open, leaving painful cracks called fissures on your heels. Those cracks may not only make it painful to walk, but can also lead to serious infection.
Cracks in the heels are generally caused by insufficient moisture. These cracks can become sore and may even bleed. Seriously dry feet can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Cold weather
- Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
- Not moisturizing your feet
- Taking very hot baths or showers
- Soaking in a hot bath for too long or too frequently
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
- Scrubbing feet dry
- Having diabetes
Knowing the causes, it’s time to give your feet some end-of-sandal-season love and care. So before you start wearing closed shoes, follow these simple steps to say bye to cracked, aching feet for good.
- The skin on your soles is thicker than the rest of your body due to heavy use (it has to stand up to your heel-wearing and foot-stomping ways, after all). That’s why you will want to soak your feet in a warm bath for at least five minutes to soften them thoroughly.
You can even add an oil or milk to your soaking tub to increase the softness. In addition, an antiseptic essential oil (like tea tree or peppermint) can help to combat minor infections.
- Next, scrub the feet with a grainy exfoliator (a cream-based scrub made by mixing honey, olive oil, and coarse salt or brown sugar).
- Rinse the feet and follow by using a wet pumice stone to smooth over rough heels and calluses. Don’t apply too much pressure, though. It will take time to get rid of sore patches completely.
- If there are extra rough spots, try spot treating with salicylic or citric acid (lemon juice also works well as grainy scrub).
- To finish, slather feet with foot cream, and put on socks to seal in moisture. Repeat the entire process weekly to maintain the smooth soles.
If the condition of your cracked heels doesn’t improve with an over-the-counter foot lotion, visit a podiatrist to treat the infection and also offer solutions to help your skin heal properly.
To prevent painful, cracked heels, eliminate risk factors by drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessively hot showers. With a good lotion and a little foot pampering, you will be kicking up your well-moisturized heels in no time.