Heels are at their worst in winter. Painful, cracked heels, also referred to as heel fissures, are a common skin condition, especially in winter when humidity is low and the outdoor temperature is cold. Lack of moisturisation makes the skin too dry making it lose much of its elasticity. This can result in cracked heels which can turn into deep cuts, or fissures, and may get infected.
Heels can crack when the skin around the rim of your heel becomes super dry and thick, and increased pressure on the fat pad under the heel causes the skin to split. Walking barefoot or feet exposed through open-back shoes can lead to cracking. 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 bath, apply a cream while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture. Massage the cream into the skin.
* 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 luke warm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes. You can use honey as a foot scrub or apply it as foot mask overnight. Repeat it twice a week.
* Take lemon halves and some sugar. Dip the lemon halves into sugar and scrub on the heels daily and wash off with fresh water. Follow a daily treatment for cracked heels for one week.
* At night, add some coarse salt and shampoo in hot water and soak your feet for about 20 minutes. With the help of a pumice stone or a heel scrubber, rub the heels gently, in order to remove the dead cells. Avoid metal scrubbers. After washing the feet, massage them with a cream, rubbing it into the skin. Then wear cotton socks and go to sleep. Keeping the heels smeared with cream all night will soften the skin and replenish moisture loss. Repeat this every night for one week.
* Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which can help your skin retain moisture. It can be used in place of regular foot lotion to prevent cracked heels. Apply the oil liberally on your feet before going to bed. 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 using a cotton ball and gently massage your feet in circular motion till the oil is soaked in the skin. Cover the foot with cotton cloth and wash it after some time with lukewarm water. Apply the oil before going to bed night daily for better results.
* Sesame oil is also useful in treating cracked heels. Apply sesame oil on your heels and allow it to soak in the skin naturally. You may wash the feet with normal fresh water.
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