Conquering the Curse of Dry Heels
Dry, cracked heels are the bane of many women’s lives during the summer months. No matter how pretty your shoes, no matter how perfect your pedicure, it’s all for nought if your heels let you down.
While dry and cracked heels can be a sign of foot neglect, they can happen very easily. Cracked heels are very, very common. The skin on the feet, unlike elsewhere on the body, is naturally dry, as there are no oil glands here. Natural moisturisation of the feet relies on sweat glands. Dry feet can be mild or severe – but left untreated, the dead skin will thicken over time and become even more difficult to eliminate. Other common dry feet symptoms include peeling, red or flaky patches, and itching.
Excessive dryness and cracked heels can be caused by:
• Very hot baths or showers
• Long periods of standing
• Conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
• Non-moisturising soaps
• Excessive exposure to water
• Home heating
• Cold weather
• Walking barefoot outside
• Diabetes and thyroid disease
• Being overweight
• Vitamin deficiency
• Sun exposure
Here are some home-tips for conquering ugly dryness and cracked heels:
• Scrubbing – with a pumice stone or foot paddle to remove dry, dead, flaking skin – follow with a moisturiser.
• Coconut oil – not only does this moisturise feet, it also helps to fight infections caused my fungus and bacteria. Simply soak feet before bed in warm water and scrub with a loofah. Dry well and rub coconut oil into the feet; put on clean cotton socks and wear them overnight. Wash your feet in the morning.
• Paraffin Wax – this can remove the dead, dry skin. Heat until warm (in a microwave), add an equal amount of coconut oil, and make a paste. Apply the paste to the heels, pop on some socks, and leave overnight. Wash off in the morning – repeat every day for two weeks.
• Epsom salts – heals by promoting skin health, drawing out toxins, and improving circulation. Add up to a cup of Epsom salts to a foot tub, along with warm water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Soak feet for ten minutes; rub with a pumice stone for a few minutes, and soak for another ten minutes. Dry well and apply moisturiser.
• Rosewater and glycerine – mix in equal amounts and rub into the heels before bed.
• You can also soak feet in water with white or apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice.
If you have any concerns, itching, bleeding, or signs of infection, see your doctor or a podiatrist.
Following these steps and some regular attention will ensure your feet look their best all summer.