Summer is finally upon us! After a long and cold winter I couldn’t be more excited. With summer comes beautiful sunshine, warm nights and even warmer days. My favorite thing to do when the warm weather arrives is to pull on my favourite sundresses, shorts and sandals.
While I love getting sassy in my newly rediscovered wardrobe, what I hate is dealing with the repercussions. I don’t know if this happens to you – I imagine it must – but my heels get so cracked when I start wearing sandals and flip flops every day. I truly hate it.
I feel like a dried up reptile under the sheets in my bed. I get embarrassed when someone is walking behind me or sitting near me. It’s gotten so bad at some points that I’ve been worried there was no coming back from it. Lucky for me, early last summer I had had enough and went and found ways that really work to fix cracked heels.
I’ve compiled some amazing cracked heels remedies for you. Check them out and let me know what you think!
If you don’t have time for a full read right now, you can always check out videos on YouTube that tell you about several ways to heal your cracked heels at home.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Cracked heels are mainly caused by your feet being exposed to dry air, creating dry skin, and then constantly rubbing against your footwear. To boot, your feet are drastically drier than the rest of your body.
Why, you ask? Well the soles of your feet actually don’t have any oil glands at all. So it takes several thousands of your sweat glands to keep your feet moisturized.
Cracked heels can also be more of an issue in people with diabetes. Everyday Health states that “Diabetics are likely to experience cracked heels because damage to nerves in the feet from uncontrolled blood sugars can cause dry skin. People with diabetes are even more likely to sustain an infection from cracked heels than non-diabetics.”
Aside from dryness and diabetes, there can be other causes of cracked heels too. Some causes of dry, cracked heels include:
- Spending hours on your feet every day
- Feet exposed to the elements for long periods of time
- Excessive exposure to hot water, hot showers or hot baths
- Lack of humidity in your environment
- Being overweight – this causes increased pressure on the soles of your feet
- Uncomfortable footwear
- Wearing open-backed footwear
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or other dermatological issues.
This might make you think twice before you put on those fancy high heels again. Taking care of your feet is important, even if it means making sacrifices on the fashion front.
Below I list out 8 home-based cracked heels remedies. My heels are magnificent at this point, due to several of the remedies below. I’ll surely be wearing my sandals without fear this summer. How about you?
8 Remedies for Cracked Heels
1. Sugar Scrub
On Dr. Oz’s website, Podiatrist Krista Archer, recommends a honey sugar foot scrub to help attack dry, cracked heels once and for all. Her recipe includes:
Her directions suggest using firm strokes to massage this amazing scrub into your feet. You simply scrub and massage for as long as you like and then rinse with warm water. Dry your feet and off you go! The good news is you can make a rather large batch and then save it in an air-tight container for up to one month.
If you want to keep experimenting with different concoctions, this site offers even more sugar scrub recipes. Please let me know if you try any!
If aren’t a do-it-yourself type person, there are plenty of great, all-natural and organic options available on Amazon. I can personally tell you, this one smells divine!
2. Pumice Stone
A pumice stone can be a cheap and effective way to pamper your dry cracked feet. According to WikiHow, a pumice stone is “formed when hot lava mixes with water and hardens, resulting in a porous material perfect for sloughing away dry skin.”
A pumice stone is a gentle but abrasive surface that can smooth your skin without actually scratching it. You can find plenty on Amazon or there are normally some at your local pharmacy or convenience store as well.
To use the pumice stone, you’ll first want to soak the affected area in warm water. For your feet, it’d be easiest to use a bowl on the floor, or you could do this in the shower or bath. Once your skin is softer, the dead skin will be easier to remove.
Make sure you wet the pumice stone as well and then begin to put light pressure in a circular motion on your heels. The dead skin should begin to fall away. You can rinse and repeat as needed.
If your feet are in pretty bad shape to start, you might have to do this process daily for a few weeks before you see the full effect.
3. Petroleum Jelly Sock Therapy
This remedy goes back to my childhood and maybe yours. My mother would treat her dry, cracked heels with what she called “Vaseline sock therapy.” It works precisely as it seems. You apply a heavy layer of petroleum jelly to your feet. Then throw some cotton socks on and let the jelly work its magic overnight.
The most popular brand of petroleum jelly, Vaseline, suggests you try this before bed to “help replenish moisture, and support and protect the skin’s natural regeneration process as you sleep.” Using this as a nightly ritual can help you prevent and treat dry, cracked heels at quite an inexpensive rate.
4. Coconut Oil
Let’s face it; coconut oil can be used for pretty much everything. It’s truly a miracle product that most people are using enough of. I keep one jar in my kitchen and one in my bathroom. It should come as no surprise that coconut oil can be a lifesaver when it comes to home remedies for cracked heels.
Obviously oil does wonders for hydrating your skin; however coconut oil goes a step further and actually helps remove dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. It also above and beyond that and can help strengthen the tissues beneath your skin.
You can apply coconut oil before bed and put socks on. Another option is to lather up your entire body after a shower. It might seem greasy at first but over time your body will absorb this amazing product quickly.
5. Fruit Mask
You can benefit from the nutritional qualities of fruit in other ways than simply eating them. Using fruits topically can help you skin absorb the nutrients as well.
Rapid Home Remedies suggests creating a fruit mask to help heal cracked heels. They advise using fruits like banana, papaya, avocado or pineapple. You simply mash these ingredients together and massage them into your cracked feet.
Adding coconut oil to this mashed recipe can also give your feet that added, hydrating and nutritional benefit!
6. Oatmeal Scrub
Another wonderful item you likely have in your pantry that can help exfoliate dry, cracked feet is oatmeal. According to Pioneer Thinking, the small, grainy flakes of oatmeal act as a wonderful exfoliator. They go so far as to claim that after a good oatmeal scrub, your feet will be soft and glowing!
Pioneer Thinking’s recipe is as follows:
- 2 teaspoons of oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Combine all ingredients in bowl
- Add water to create a paste
Once you have your concoction created, they suggest you start the exfoliating process by warming your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes. This helps soften your skin. Then apply the scrub to your feet and massage it in gently for a couple of minutes.
Rinse your feet, pat them dry and you’re done! To me, this sounds like a great way to maintain your soft feet all summer long. Maybe you can even convince a partner to do the massaging, if you’re lucky!
7. Milk and Honey Exfoliator
This article suggests a milk and honey exfoliator for one of your cracked heels remedies. They state that milk and honey act as natural moisturizers. Honey also is said to act as a natural antibacterial.
Simple Household Tips shares this recipe:
- 1 cup organic honey
- 2 cups milk
Mix the above ingredients together and then put them in a large bowl. If you’d like to be extra comfortable, warm up the milk first. Be careful not to make it too hot as hot liquids will further dry out your feet.
Soak your feet for about ten minutes and then massage them while they are still in the mixture for an additional five to ten minutes. This will help your feet absorb the milk and honey and the massage will help to loosen the dead skin. Once you are done, dry off and apply some moisturizer.
8. Rice Flour
Rice flour is one of the other cracked heels remedies that you can create in your own home to soothe your feet. Home Remedies for Life says you can use rice flour as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. So what exactly is rice flour?
Well, their recipe includes:
You first start by grinding the rice into a fine powder, thus the ‘flour’ in its name. You then mix the apple cider vinegar, honey and olive oil together with the rice powder and make a paste.
As with the other methods, soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes prior to application in order to soften your skin. Then massage the concoction into your feet for about five to 10 minutes. Rinse, dry, moisturize and then repeat daily until your cracked feet heal.
So if you are currently staring into your closet excited about your summer wardrobe but upset about the memory of cracked and dry heels, rest assured they can be fixed with the some of the soothing tactics above. Wearing your favorite flip flops doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety, but the source of a fun, fancy-free summer ahead.
We’ve learned that you can use plenty of household items and home remedies in order to fix your cracked heels. These include:
Utilizing any of these methods can be great for healing your dry, cracked skin. The bonus is that if you suffer from dry hands, you can use these methods there as well. Once you get your feet back to where you want them to be it’s very important continue daily maintenance moving forward. This could be as simple as applying a nightly moisturizer.
Remember that some of the best way to avoid cracked heels in the first place are to:
- Moisturize often
- Choose proper footwear
- Keep your weight in check
- Don’t spend extended amounts of time in hot water
- Try not to spend long hours on your feet
Some of these preventable measures might not be realistic, especially if you work certain jobs or in certain environments. Luckily you can use the suggestions above to keep your feet in tip-top shape. The bonus is that most of them involve massaging your feet. Sounds fun to me!
And, if you might need just a few more ideas, Pinterest has over 1000 ideas for you to try out. Just be careful, at that rate, you’ll be spending your whole summer inside treating your feet!
But in all seriousness, with all this knowledge under your belt you’ll have just enough time to get your feet ready for summer.
Do you suffer from cracked heels? Which of the remedies above have you tried yourself? I would love to hear what worked and what didn’t in the comments below.