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Eight ways to treat and soften your heels

01 April 2015, 18:18

Nairobi - Though skin cracks may occur anywhere on the body, the heels are the most affected because they are used mostly.

Cracking and blackening of heels is a recurrent problem and can occur to anyone. It could be a sign of lack of attention to your feet or even total neglect of foot care.

Cracked heels are not harmful unless when the fissures get deep, become painful and starts to bleed. The painful openings in the skin expose you to bacteria leading to infections and discomfort.

Probably you have noticed some signs of cracks on your feet and you may be looking for remedies to beat those cracks. There are few natural tips that will help you treat and soften your heels.

1.       Moisturize your feet often.

Those cracks in your feet are present because your skin lacks moisture. Dry skin is the most common cause of heel fissures. The skin on your heels is to dry to support the immense pressure on them.

Applying a moisturizing cream regularly or petroleum jelly can work wonders. The moisturizer or petroleum jelly locks in moisture. Apply daily before going to bed and cover them with socks to allow your skin to absorb the moisture and help improve your feet. Vegetable oil also works positively.

2.       Use gentle and mild cleansers instead of soaps.

Soaps and cosmetics can be harsh on your skin and worsen the situation by increasing the dryness on your skin and stripping the little moisture left. Invest in good foot creams or oils that won’t strip moisture off your feet or use mild and gentle natural cleansers such as honey, vinegar, oatmeal to clean your feet.

3.       Drink a lot of water.

This is the easiest treatment for those cracks on your feet. Drinking a lot of water will help you rehydrate your body as well as your skin.

4.       Soak your feet in lemon juice, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

These contain mild natural acid and helps dissolve dry skin. For better results soak your feet for about 10 minutes weekly so that the dry skin peelings can be easily be removed then you slightly scrubbing with a soft brush to exfoliate the top dry skin.

5.       Keep your bathing water lukewarm.

Very hot water will dehydrate your skin and your feet leaving it rough. Alternating cold and hot water while bathing will help your skin maintain moisture. You should also avoid standing for long in damped areas like in the bathroom.

6.       Avoid scrubbing your feet vigorously.

Vigorously scrubbing your skin with scrubs will only leave your skin on your heels very dry. Try to pat your skin after washing them and leave them to dry by themselves.

7.       Avoid prolonged standing especially on hard floors.

This exerts a lot of pressure on your foot pad and when the skin can’t hold the pressure it expands eventually cracking.

8.       Avoid wearing sandals or shoes that are open at the back.

The shoes you wear particularly during hot seasons will cause your feet to dry out eventually crack. Open sandals allow the fat under the heel to expand sideways and increases the possibility of cracks. The exposure to dust and dirt also affects your heels and may cause it to crack.

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