Got cracked heels? It’s a common problem, yet there are natural ways to treat them. Check out these 10 easy and effective home remedies for cracked heels.
Love to wear sandals and flip flops (or as we call them in Hawaii, slippahs) in the summer? I do! In fact, I wear them pretty much all year, including winter months when I can get away with.
But the big issue I have with open-toed (and heel) shoes are cracked heels (also known as fissures). I get them so bad that deep cracks appear and hurt when I walk. These cracks or cuts may expose the skin to harmful bacteria leading to infections.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Cracked heels can be caused by more than open-toed shoes or dry air. They could be a sign of other health problems, such as skin conditions, thyroid issues, vitamin deficiency, weight issues and aging. So if you have chronic dry or cracked heels, consider whether you’re at risk for these other health conditions and talk to your health care provider. Consider eating a diet rich in vitamin E, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain optimal skin health.
And if you’re looking for home remedies to heal those cracked heels naturally, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these easy solutions for dry, cracked heels you can easily do at home with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
10 Home Remedies for Cracked Heels
1. Coconut oil
Massage a spoonful of coconut oil on each cracked heel and cover with socks (try these heel socks) before bed. In the morning, heels should be smoother and softer. Repeat as needed each night until cracked heels are better. Coconut oil is an natural sanitizer and helps to kill germs that could lead to infection.
Add a cup of honey to a gallon of warm water. Pour honey-water mixture into a bucket or large bowl wide enough to fit both feet. Soak feet for 20-30 minutes. The honey helps moisturize and cleanse cracked heels, while keeping germs at bay that could lead to infection.
3. Epsom Salt
Add 1/3 cup of epsom salt to a bucket or large bowl wide enough to fit both feet. Fill with warm water and let feet soak for 20-30 minutes. The epsom salt helps to gently exfoliate the feet. Rub feet with a light oil such as sesame oil or jojoba oil to keep feet moisturized.
4. DIY Diaper Balm
Rub my DIY Diaper Balm on cracked heels and cover with socks (try these heel socks) before bed. Repeat as needed each night. This salve helps to soften dry heels.
5. Pumice Stone
6. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is a natural skin soother in a bottle. It’s excellent for cuts, scrapes and cracked skin. It helps to kill germs and heal and moisturize skin. Rub a tsp of avocado oil on feet before bedtime. Cover with socks and wake up in the morning to soft heels. Repeat each night until skin is healed.
7. Banana and Coconut Mask
Mash a banana and 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil. Apply to cracked heels and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Wash in a warm bath (no soap) and pat dry. The banana and coconut oil are loaded with natural enzymes that help to encourage cell turnover and moisturize skin.
8. Moisturizing Foot Bath
Add1/3 cup epsom salt to a bucket or large bowl (wide enough to fit both feet), and fill with warm water and . Let feet soak 20-30 minutes. Follow up coconut oil or your favorite carrier oil to lock in moisture.
9. Wool Socks
One of the biggest culprits of cracked heels is loss of moisture. Wear wool socks to trap body heat in the feet. This will help to prevent loss of moisture. My cracked heels tend to go away in the winter. Why? Because I always wear boots with socks or even just socks around my house to keep my feet warm. The socks help to keep the moisture in.
10. Shea Butter
Organic shea butter is a rich emollient packed full of nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and F as well as antioxidants and essential fatty acids, to help combat dry skin. A little goes a long way with shea butter. You can soak feet in a bucket or large bowl (wide enough to fit both feet) and fill with warm water and 1 tbsp of shea butter for 15 minutes. Or you could you massage feet with 1-2 tbsp of shea butter and cover feet with socks(try these heel socks) overnight.
Don’t Ignore Your Cracked Heels
Don’t ignore dry, cracked heels, as over time you may develop deeper fissures, which increases your risk of infection. Give one or more of these home remedies for cracked heels a try. But if self-care measures don’t help, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons mentions these risk factors that can worsen cracked heels:
- Walking barefoot
- Dry skin
- Open-backed shoes
- Excess weight
- Friction in the backs of shoes
- Decreased nerve function
- Complications of a medical condition such as diabetes, a thyroid condition, kidney disease or circulation problems
Aftercare For Cracked Heel Sufferers
So you’ve used one of these great home remedies for cracked heels, now how do you keep them crack free? Here are some ways to prevent cracked heels, going forward:
- Although your skin may show signs of improvement after initial treatment, it may take several days or weeks for the cracks to heal. Keep up a good home remedy regimen after the cracks have healed.
- Avoid standing in one position or sitting with your legs crossed for too long.
- At night, cover your feet with socks to lock in moisture.
- Inspect your feet daily, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that causes dry skin.
- Wear custom shoe inserts (orthotics) to cushion your heel and even out weight distribution.
- Wear good quality or clinically-tested padded socks.
- Use silicon heel cups to keep the heel moisturized and help prevent the heel pad from expanding.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Use a pumice stone after showering a few times a week to help prevent thickening skin. But avoid removing calluses yourself if you have diabetes or neuropathy. You may inadvertently create a wound and increase your risk of infection.
Top Tips For Treating Cracked Heels
- Give you heels extra love at night! Make sure to apply one of the home remedies for cracked heels before bed.
- Even if you see signs of improvement initially, keep up with the treatment until the heels are fully healed.
- Opt for 100% cotton socks.
- Avoid shoes that are too tight.
Other DIY Tutorials
- DIY Dry Shampoo Powder + DIY Dry Shampoo Spray
- DIY Exfoliating Facial Scrub for Glowing Skin
- DIY Shoe Powder – The Natural Remedy for Stinky Shoes
- DIY Coconut Brown Sugar Scrub
Check out my book Natural Beauty Made Simple. It comes with 45 homemade skincare recipes with a set of printable labels and gift tags. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so it’s portable and can go with you anywhere!
With this book, you’ll learn how to:
- Make your own organic beauty and skin care products for less than $25 a month!
- Learn simple techniques to make your own skincare – without the fuss of complicated recipes or hard-to-find ingredients
- Get tried-and-true recipes that work to nourish the skin and make it look more radiant than ever before
- Create beautiful gifts for friends and family with the printable labels and gift tags I’ve included with this book
Photo credit: Bigstockphotos.com / golubovy