What are the causes of Cracked heels?
Summer is here and now many of us spend a lot of time looking at our feet. Only because it’s sandal season and it’s a must to have gorgeous feet with beautifully manicured toe nails. Also we want to have nice feet on show when sitting at the pool drinking our cocktails! But lately I have been asked a great question by a friend of mine – how do you get rid of cracked heels? This is a common foot problem that around 20% of us have and for most of us, having cracked heels isn’t serious, but it can cause discomfort when going barefoot.
What is this name of this condition of cracked heels?
So the technical name for cracked heels and feet is ‘keratoderma.’ It’s a sign of thickening of the skin typically on the soles or palms and there are several things that cause this thickening.
What is the cause of cracked heels?
1. If it happens during childhood, it’s probably genetic.
2. Hormonal changes
3. Environmental stressors
4. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis – then you are likely to have cracked heels
What to do if you suffer from cracked heels
When the heels are cracked and peeling, it means that the skin barrier is disrupted. Remember the outside layer of skin is the epidermis and it has this protective barrier which is sometimes referred to as the acid mantle. If this protective barrier is damaged, it means the skin loses hydration, becomes inflamed and is at a risk of developing infections.
Home care to treat and prevent cracked heels.
Step 1. Make an Epsom Salt foot bath
Fill your bathtub or basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover your feet. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt to the warm water. Soak your feet for 30 to 60 minutes. For those of you that love aromatherapy, try mixing a teacup of almond oil (grapeseed if you have a nut allergy) with a few drops of lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils.
For an added boost, massage a handful of Epsom Salt into your skin which will exfoliate and soften the rough, cracked feet.
How it works
Epsom salt is a magnesium sulphate compound which has been used for hundreds of years as a healing and pain relief treatment. Today we use it most often in hot baths and foot soaks to reduce stress.
The magnesium in Epsom Salt is absorbed through the skin, increasing magnesium levels in the body. This can reduce swelling and pain related to inflammation.
Other benefits of using Epsom Salt
A fab treatment for cracked heels but also terrific for gout, to eliminate foot odour, sore feet, corns, athletes foot and treating infections.
Step 2. Use a pumice stone to remove any hard, thick skin
Step 3. Gently pat your feet dry
Step 4. Apply a heel balm or thick moisturiser to the heels and let it absorb thoroughly
Step 5. Apply a barrier such as petroleum jelly over your feet to lock in moisture.
Spa & salon treatments for cracked heels
Find a salon that offer a rejuvenation pedicure in which you have all the benefits of a pedicure along with a chemical peel on the soles. This is proving to be an extremely popular salon pedi treatment during the summer months. And these skin therapists will help you to put your best foot forward!