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Are your heels cracked, callused, dry and painful? Do you cover them up, afraid to wear sandals that show your feet?
Does the way your feet look make you feel old?
If so, you’re not alone.
Over 20% of Americans or 44 million people suffer from cracked heels every year.
And those ugly cracks don’t just look bad, they can lead to serious health problems.
If untreated, your cracked heels could turn into ugly sores and lead to bacterial or fungal infections, pain with walking, cellulitis and more.
Although cracked heels are often caused just by dry skin, there are other risk factors that can increase your risk.
- Diabetes – If you have type 2 diabetes you’re at higher risk for cracked heels since uncontrollable blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage in the feet, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Nerve damage in your feet can increase the risk for dry skin since blood flow is affected.
- Obesity – Obesity can increase your risk for cracked heels because the excess weight being placed on the heel pad will cause your heel pad to expand, and eventually crack.
- Aging skin – Thick, dry, scaly skin loses its elasticity with age, and as such cracks can have higher incidence as you become older.
- Deficiencies – Lack of vitamins and minerals in your diet can adversely affect your heel health.
What you can do at home to get smooth, beautiful feet
Luckily, healing these ugly, painful cracks is easier than you might think and you should be able to get relief at home without ever seeing a doctor. The key is to spend time on your feet.
Here are 7 ways to improve your heel health at home:
- Soak and scrub – Prepare a foot soak tub with warm water and ½ cup of Epsom salt and soak your feet for 10 minutes. Remove your feet and scrub with a pumice stone. Soak again for 10 minutes. Once you’re done, apply a thick moisturizer to your feet and then cover with a pair of socks. Let the moisturizer soak in overnight.
- Use Oils – Use healing oils to moisturize your feet morning and night. These include olive, almond and coconut oils, all of which have been used for centuries to keep skin smooth.
- Use a natural antibacterial – You can also soak your feet in warm water with ½ cup of honey. Honey is a known antibacterial and can help keep those cracks from becoming infected.
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water each day to keep your skin hydrated and prevent more cracks from forming.
- Avoid open-heeled shoes – Wear shoes with closed heels to prevent your heel pad from spreading and cracking.
- Stay cool – Avoid hot baths and showers as heat draws moisture out of your skin.
- Supplement – Adding certain supplements can help improve your skin, like omega 3s (at least 1,000 mg per day), Vitamin E (15 mg or 22.4 IU per day with food), magnesium (400 -800 mg per day) and zinc (15 – 30 mg per day).
Stop living with painful, cracked heels and use the seven steps above to get smoother, healthier skin naturally.
- National Foot Health Assessment 2012 — INSTITUTE FOR PREVENTIVE FOOT HEALTH