Cracked heels, also referred to as heel fissures, are a common foot problem in winter that seems to affect women more than men. Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain tells us how to tackle the problem.
Cracked heels are especially prevalent when you walk barefoot or wear open-back shoes or chappals. The cold and dry weather, especially during extreme winters, causes loss of moisture and hampers proper blood circulation to the feet. As a result, the skin of the feet, which is harder and thicker than most parts of the body, suffers.
Give yourself weekly foot treatments at home to revitalise the skin. Soaking the feet in warm water helps to soften the skin and remove dead skin. For daily foot and heel care, apply pure almond oil on the feet daily before your bath and massage it into the skin. After your bath, apply a cream while the skin is till damp. This helps to seal in moisture. Massage the cream into the skin. The feet will remain soft and smooth.
Honey is a natural remedy for common foot problems as it contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Mix one cup of honey in five litres of lukewarm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes. You can use honey as a foot scrub after the soak or apply it as foot mask overnight. Repeat it twice in a week.
Take lemon halves and some quantity of sugar. Dip the lemon halves into sugar and scrub on the heels daily and wash off with fresh water. Do it for one week.
At night, soak the feet in hot water for about 20 minutes. Add some coarse salt and shampoo to the water before soaking the feet. Hot water helps to soften the dead skin on the heels. With the help of a pumice stone or a heel scrubber, rub the heels gently to remove the dead cells. Avoid metal scrubbers. After washing the feet, massage them with a cream rubbing it into the skin. Bandage the heels with clean cloth. Then wear cotton socks and go to sleep. Keeping the heels smeared with cream all night will soften the skin. Repeat this every night for a week.
Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which can help your skin retain moisture. It is widely used for treatment of dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. Not only does coconut oil help retain hydrating water on the skin’s surface but it also removes dead skin cells. On top of that, coconut oil can help strengthen tissues underneath the epidermis. Coconut oil can be used in place of your regular foot lotion to prevent cracked heels; consider using it daily. Apply the oil liberally on your feet before going to bed. You will have smoother heels in the morning. Moisturise your feet with coconut oil twice a day when you experience deep cracks.
Prevent cracked heels by soaking, scrubbing, and performing the hot olive oil treatment on your feet twice a week.Apply olive oil with help of cotton ball and gently massage your feet in circulation motion till the oil is soaked in the skin .Cover the foot with cotton cloth and wash it after some time with luke warm water .Apply the oil before going to bed night daily for better results .
Rub olive oil on your heels as soon as you emerge from a shower or bath in the morning, and apply the oil again each night before bed. Wear socks to bed to keep the oil on your feet and off your bedding.
Sesame oil is very useful in treating cracked heels since it is considered to be nourishing and moisturising. The oil contains vitamins, nutrients and minerals along with its anti-fungal properties. Apply sesame oil on your heels and other parts of the feet and allow it to soak in the skin naturally. You may wash the feet with normal fresh water.
Make sure that you wear closed shoes and socks. Select weather appropriate footwear. Use cotton socks and avoid synthetic material, woollen socks during winters which can irritate the skin and cause dryness.
Avoid soaps and shampoos which contain harsh chemicals. Make sure to keep cracked heels protected by covering them with a thick layer of cotton cloth. Consider eating a diet rich in Vitamin E, calcium, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids to maintain optimal skin health.