If you’ve ever experienced having dry, hard, cracked and callused heels, you know what a hassle they can be.
It’s unsightly so you only allow yourself to wear footwear that hides them. It can be so hard and dry that you feel embarrassed to let anyone come into contact with your feet—so romantic foot massages are a definite no-no for you. It can be painful so you limit the time you spend walking or standing.
But even more than that, it can increase your chances of infection in a part of your body that is essential for mobility.
With all this and bathing suit and flip-flop season coming, it’s no wonder you want to get rid of hard skin on your feet quick! Here, we discuss what conditions could spring from having hard, dry skin on the feet, which causes severe drying and cracking in heels, and how to keep feet soft and callous-free.[How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently]
Calluses, corns and cracked heels: what’s the difference?
While you may want to blame your body for making things harder for you (pun intended), you should try to understand the development of thick skin as a protective mechanism. Imagine if your skin remained soft in areas that are continuously subjected to abrasive circumstances—you’d develop rashes, blisters, wounds, and scars in no time. Our bodily tissues are more protected the thicker our skin becomes.
Hard skin can come in the form of calluses or corns. Calluses are large areas of hard skin that are spread out; corns are usually smaller and appear to be radiating from a defined centre. You may observe that running your hand over a callus does not produce the same feeling as touching the other, softer parts of your feet. That’s because the skin is thickened with layers of dead cells and not as sensitive. In contrast, corns are usually painful when touched.
Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a result of both pressure and lack of moisture. Just like anything that is too dry, skin can become brittle and crack. If it’s on the surface, it can look rather unappealing. If it’s deeper, it can be very painful and lead to infection.
What causes severe dry skin on feet?
It has a lot to do with pressure and friction. Your feet receive the brunt of your body weight when you are upright—which is most of the time! What’s worse is if the pressure is concentrated on certain parts instead of being evenly distributed across your feet—as is the case when you wear ill-fitting shoes, when your feet have parts that jut out and rub against other material (like bunions, hammertoes or arthritis), or when the arch of your feet is either too flat or too high.
The places that receive more pressure or are exposed to more friction is where you will likely develop hard skin.
Loss of skin elasticity and moisture is another reason for dry, flaky and hard feet—particularly for cracked heels. Age, predisposing conditions like diabetes or obesity, and lack of skincare are contributing factors. However, one important consideration that often goes unnoticed when you think about hard skin on the feet is nutritional problems. Simply put, cracked heels and vitamin deficiency often go hand-in-hand.
How To Fix Cracked Heels
What to do:
- Prepare a mixture of one cup of Listerine, one cup of white vinegar, and 2 cups of water.
- Soak your feet in the mixture for 15 minutes.
- Remove your feet, and scrub them using a pumice stone to remove dead skin.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Pat dry, and moisturize.
How often: Repeat every day until your heels heal.
Related: Best Natural Remedy For Glowing Skin
Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies That Make Your Heels Cracked, Dry and Flaky
- Vitamin A. One of the many functions of Vitamin A in the body is to create and repair skin cells, protect against damage, and keep inflammation to a minimum. In fact, it is used in many skincare products—you may be more familiar with its active form: retinol or retinoic acid. Cracked heels are from dry, dead skin cells, so increasing an antioxidant that helps replenish skin is definitely going to help. Aside from supplements and vitamin-infused products, food rich in beta carotene are prime sources of Vitamin A. A good rule of thumb? Look for fruits and vegetables, specifically ones that are red, yellow, or orange.
- Vitamin C. The C in Vitamin C might as well stand for “collagen” with how important it is to collagen production! Another prime ingredient in many a beauty product, this component helps skin heal faster and more efficiently—a powerful ally in soothing areas of the skin that suffer from the effects of pressure, friction and lack of moisture. You can get supplements and creams over-the-counter, or eat your fill of citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and strawberries!
- Vitamin E. This nutrient is an antioxidant that helps nourish the skin by improving cell function. The body naturally produces Vitamin E in the excretion of sebum. In this form, it helps moisturize the skin. We learned that cracked heels are just as much about dryness as it is about pressure, so you definitely need Vitamin E to help make it soft. It can be taken in the form of supplements, topical creams, or through the diet in the form of healthy seafood, green vegetables, seeds, and plant-based oils.
- Vitamin B3. This nutrient’s other name may be more familiar to you as a component of many skincare products: niacinamide. It helps the skin by boosting immunity and helping it retain moisture by optimizing the performance of the epidermis—again, a great way to fight against the dreaded cracked heel! You can get your dose of vitamin B3 by eating red meat, poultry, fish, tomatoes and asparagus. Try looking for products infused with it as well!
- Omega3. Fatty Acids. This is what you need if you want to improve hydration and increase protection for your skin. This nutrient keeps collagen damage at a minimum and maintains the integrity of the lipid-based cell membrane to ensure moisture is retained. Not only that, they have the added benefit of helping your heart and circulatory system running better! Use products that incorporate healthy fish oil to increase your intake of these essential fatty acids.
- Zinc. Zinc has been known to help with cases of severe acne—so how can it help with cracked heels? The reason why zinc is great for pimples is that it helps the skin heal from lesions, which incidentally also occur when you have heel fissures! It helps keep inflammation down and regeneration up. This mineral is not needed in large quantities, so it best incorporated into the diet. Not a problem, since you can get it from delicious chicken, lamb, beef, dark chocolate, oysters, and other common foods.
Watch the video below on How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently in just 5mins
How to prevent hard, dry, cracked feet and heels?
Most likely, the dryness and hardness of the skin on your feet are caused by a number of factors—not just one. So, it is best to adopt a holistic approach that targets all the problem areas. This means you need to find ways to alleviate pressure or friction while keeping your feet moisturized, while also helping your skin cells regenerate quicker. Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry, there are fairly easy solutions that won’t take up too much of your time!
Start with wearing shoes that fit properly. Try on the shoes that you have and try to wiggle your toes. If there’s hardly any space for them to move, consider throwing those away and replacing them with a pair that affords more wiggle room. Next time you buy shoes, walk around in them and pay special attention that no part of your foot is uncomfortably rubbing against the shoe.
If you have irregularly-arched feet, consider seeing a podiatrist help distribute the pressure. Depending on the causes, the doctor may prescribe certain exercises, special shoes, diet, or management techniques to help with weight-bearing.
Keeping your feet moisturized will help prevent dryness and hardness. Remember the vitamins we discussed earlier? Look for lotions and creams with those ingredients. There are a lot of topical ointments specially formulated for those suffering from cracked heels. Below, we will list some products used in a daily routine to fix cracked heels permanently!
6 at-home remedies to permanently get rid of hard skin and cracked heels quick
Home-made foot soaks should be part of your routine to get softer, crack-less feet. Remember that the hardened skin is layers of dead skin cells that no longer receive moisture and nutrition. Removing them is key to helping the underlying healthy cells blossom. Here are some home remedies you can try. Just mix the ingredients and leave your feet in for around 10-15 minutes.
- Half cup Listerine + half cup vinegar + 2-3 tablespoons honey + 1 gallon of warm water. Listerine contains methyl salicylate, an exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells. Vinegar helps prep the foot by softening the skin before Listerine works its magic. Honey offsets the drying effect of the mixture by providing moisture, as well as acting as an antiseptic. Warm water helps dilute the solution so it is not overly harsh on the skin.
- 3 teaspoons rice flour + 1 teaspoon honey + 2-3 drops apple cider vinegar. In this recipe, rice flour is the exfoliant that also helps purify and rejuvenate the skin. Honey is for hydration and sanitation, while vinegar helps prep the skin.
- 1 teaspoon Vaseline + 3-4 drops lemon juice. Lemon juice is a citrus fruit that contains Vitamin C for skin regeneration, while Vaseline is a potent moisturizer. With this method you will fix cracked heels permanently
- Half a cup Epsom salt + warm water in a basin. Epsom salt helps with inflamed skin and helps soften the heels. After this foot soak, rub your feet gently with a moisturizing agent—aloe vera gel, coconut oil or shea butter are great options.
- 2 tablespoons lemon + 1 tablespoon salt + 1 cup glycerin + half cup rose water. Glycerin and rose water are intense moisturizers that also help balance the skin’s pH level. Lemon adds Vitamin C to the mixture, while salt helps exfoliate the skin with gentle rubbing. [How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently]
Coconut Oil For Cracked Heels
Repairing cracked heels with coconut oil is something we’ve all tried once, and it has worked wonders. Let’s check out the remedy of coconut oil for cracked heels to fix cracked heels permanently.
- Take a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil for cracked heels. Apply the oil liberally on both feet, especially the broken parts. After application, slip the socks on and go straight to bed.
- In the morning, you can bathe the usual way.
- If you keep on doing this daily for a few days, you will notice the difference yourself. Your feet will feel soft and smooth, and the cracks will start vanishing.
- There is another remedy you can try with coconut oil for cracked heels.
- Mix in a bowl a few drops, 3-4 perhaps, of coconut oil and some paraffin wax. Note that you can also use mustard oil instead of coconut oil. It’s a suitable replacement.
- Stir thoroughly while heating the mixture on the stove and let it melt properly.
- Now let the mixture cool down to room temperature before you paste your feet with the mixture.
- If you’re looking for quick and favourable results, do this before you hit the sack. Apply and put a pair of socks on and sleep peacefully.
- Wash the feet in the morning. Doing this every two to three times a week can be helpful.
- If you are a diabetic patient, then it’s recommended you don’t try this method. Also, you shouldn’t put the feet in the paraffin wax while it’s still hot.
How coconut oil for cracked heels work? Well, the oil is very helpful in hydrating the skin. It can help to heal deep cracked heels or fix cracked heels permanently. It’s highly beneficial in removing all the dead cells and providing the moisture with the skin needs.
The coconut oil can easily penetrate the deep layers of the skin while providing the nourishment it needs. Now you know how to heal deep cracked heels or how to fix cracked heels permanently. It’s with the use of coconut oil how to remove cracked heels is achieved.
A note of caution though: don’t use the recipes that include an ingredient you are allergic to! If you find that some cause irritation—our skin types may be different after all—stop immediately and try a different recipe.
How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently – My Routine For Perfectly Soft Skin On My Feet
If you wish for nothing more than a pair of soft, moisturized, and healthy feet, I highly recommend my personal routine for keeping those calluses, corns, and cracked heels away.
Start out with weekly foot filing! I use the Electric Callus Remover from Own Harmony mostly because I got tired of scrubbing my feet with a pumice stone. [How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently]
It used to take me twenty minutes to exfoliate the dead skin off, but going electric has reduced it to less than half of the time. Sure, I lose my twenty minutes of a pretty intense arm workout, but I’ve noticed it takes off even the most stubborn callus with a lot less effort. Plus, it’s easy to clean, rechargeable, and has lasted me for months now. I love it!
I do a foot scrub once to three times a week, depending on my schedule. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Oleavine Theratree Exfoliating Scrub. First of all, it smells amazing being chockfull of essential oils (including mint, which gives me a tingly clean feeling after I use it). It also has a bamboo charcoal powder that brings out the dirt, dead skin cells and grime accumulated by my feet (sorry for the graphic description—but you get it!). What makes it especially good at exfoliation is micro pumice and white willow bark. Since I’ve used this, bye-bye calluses!) I’ll let you in on a little secret:
I even use this scrub on my face and occasionally all over my body! It’s my little secret hack that many girls would never think to do. I have oily skin that needs extra exfoliating to get rid of all the built-up oils and dead skin cells. It smells minty and refreshing in the shower. If you decide to try this on your face, start with a small amount, otherwise, it will burn. You’ll feel the tingly sensation. I personally love it! My pores are clear, my skin feels softer, and my acne disappears within 5 days of using this stuff.
So you know how sheet face masks are becoming a thing now? What if I told you they have the same but for your feet? I purchase the Evagloss Exfoliating and Moisturizing Foot Masks over and over again because this product is literally magic. They come in packs of three sock-like foot masks. You put on the exfoliating ones for 1-1.5 hours. In one to two weeks, your feet will be peeling heavily, but only to reveal what feels like brand new, baby soft feet underneath! The moisturizing feet masks are used within that period to help keep your feet moisturized and aid in the peeling process. If you’re the type of girl that likes to dedicate 1 day a week to throw on a plush robe, binge watch Netflix, and give yourself an at-home facial, then you need to add this foot hydration and exfoliating socks to your routine. It’s so simple and you can do it simultaneously with your facial.
To give my feet the extra moisturizing treatment after all the exfoliation, I like to wrap my feet in socks every night after slathering on the AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Foot Cream. When I take them off in the morning, my feet are so soft I wish I could transfer the skin on them to my face. It’s free of harsh chemicals like parabens and phthalates, instead of relying on minerals naturally found in the Dead Sea like magnesium, calcium, and potassium hydrate. It does wonder for keeping my heels fissure-free!
Lastly, I like to change it up by using any one of the home remedies I listed above. But to be completely honest, if I had to pick one that I use over and over again, it would have to be the glycerin and rosewater combination. Maybe because I just love how my feet end up smelling like roses and feeling like rose petals.
In short, having dry-skinned, hard-textured and cracked feet is definitely not the end of the world. There are so many ways you can have the soft, moisturized feet of your dreams. While it may take some time and experiment with what products and routines work for you, I guarantee that one of those mentioned in this article will help you out. Before you know it, you’ll be walking around in flip flops and open-heel shoes, asking your special someone for foot massages, and enjoying pain-free walking and standing.
Let us know if you have any questions or if you want to comment on your own experience with home remedies for How To Fix Cracked Heels Permanently to help other future readers out! Sharing is caring!
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