Cracked heels can be a problem, especially in the colder months when the air lends itself to dry skin. On top of that, these fissures can worsen as a result of the pressure put on your heels throughout the day — especially if you're a fan of foot-imbalancing stilettos. Along with being less-than-aethestically-pleasing, untreated cracked heels can split even further, causing pain (and in some cases, infection). Prevention is key: moisturize daily, get pedicures as needed, and drink plenty of water to save your feet. But what do you do when your cracks are already out of whack? Find out how to do your own at-home treatment when you read more.
- Step 1: Soak. Before heading to bed, soak feet in warm (not hot) water for about 10 to 15 minutes to cleanse and help promote circulation in the feet. Add Epsom salts, honey, oil, or milk to soothe and soften.
- Step 2: Exfoliate. Now massage on an exfoliating foot scrub to stimulate skin and slough off dead skin. Rinse off and pat dry. Other options: use Stridex pads, which contain salicylic acid, to help gently remove flaking, or a good old-fashioned pumice stone. But whatever you do, do not pick at, peel, or try to cut off dead pieces of skin. That can lead to unnecessary irritation and even infection.
- Step 3: Hydrate: To finish, apply a thick lotion, salve, or cream liberally to the feet. Cover with socks and let the moisturizer work its magic while you sleep. Repeat the process every day for about a week to reveal beautifully soft heels. And if the fissures still remain, head to the podiatrist for a professional's opinion.