Five At-Home Cracked Heel Treatment Ideas That Work!
Heel fissures, otherwise commonly known as cracked heels, are very painful and also very common. This foot condition causes discomfort and pain and results from dehydrated skin of the feet—the dry skin when accompanied by thickened skin, cracks. There are also typically brown or yellow calluses that appear around the edge of the heel. The most common problem with cracked heels is simply their appearance.
But when left to develop too long, they can become very painful. In severe cases, the fissures can even become infected. Here are some home treatment methods to try out to make sure you get rid of dry, thickened skin and prevent painful cracks from forming on your feet.
Emollients or Humectant Moisturizers
Emollients are very effective in treating cracked heels. That’s because they penetrate the skin and work to reduce the loss of moisture through the dermis. Emollients fill in the gaps between the flaking skin and thereby make the skin feel smoother and soft and flexible. It helps to reduce general moisture loss in the skin.
Humectants work by penetrating the outer layer of the skin and attract moisture from the surrounding air to maintain water in the skin. It increases the moisture capacity of the skin in this way. In arid conditions, humectants work by drawing moisture from the deeper skin layers instead of moisture from the atmosphere, resulting in more dehydrated skin in general. Thus a combination of a humectant and an occlusive is most effective in sealing moisture in the skin.
After the skin properly absorbs the humectant or the emollient, a thick layer od an occlusive moisturizer of preference may be applied to the skin to help lock in the moisture. Occlusive moisturizers are the type to coat the skin in a thin protective barrier. The film that prevents moisture from evaporating from the outermost layer of the skin. Occlusive moisturizers at home are lanolin, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and silicones like dimethicone. They are great at locking in moisture but are notoriously messy, greasy and sticky.
100% Cotton Socks
After applying moisturizers of choice to your feet, it is best to wear 100% cotton socks. This is great, even for sleeping with. These socks can help to seal in moisture while still allowing the heels to breathe as they repair. It also prevents your bed sheets from catching the stains with the products you apply to your feet.
After repeating the routine of moisturizing the feet and wearing cotton socks to bed for a few nights, the skin on the feet should soften considerably.
Pumice Stone Rub
A trusty pumice stone usually is available in every household and is a simple home remedy for thickened skin. It simply involves a nice sized pumice stone and plenty of rubbing. After moisturizing the heel, rub it gently with a pumice stone to loosen the dead skin. Avoid using scissors or razors on the skin. People who suffer from neuropathy or diabetes should avoid pumice stones and instead make an appointment with a podiatrist or a dermatologist.
While there are many different foot soak recipes out there that people swear by, a prevalent one is a wacky foot soak that consists of 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of yellow antiseptic mouthwash, and 2 cups of warm water. This mixture is said to be highly effective when your feet soak in the mixture for fifteen minutes. You can use any type of mouthwash.
But apparently, the blue and green varieties tend to stain the feet. So use those with caution. Of course, a simple warm saltwater soak with a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil should also do the trick. You can soften thickened and dry skin if you aren’t adventurous enough to try mouthwash and vinegar on your feet. Follow the soak with proper moisturizing to reap maximum benefit.
According to a 2012 assessment conducted by the National Foot Health Assessment board, 20% of American adults have experienced cracked heels. It appears that women are 50% more likely to develop this foot condition than men are. Following the steps in this article to treat and prevent cracked heels is recommended to avoid pain and bleeding and general discomfort o poor appearance of cracked heels.
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