Summer is the season for cracked heels! We opt to wear more open styled shoes or go barefoot (as it’s hot), leaving our feet more exposed & vulnerable to drying out.
You can help prevent dry cracked heels over summer with these tips:
1. Avoid excessive exposure to moisture depleting elements.
Our natural oils can be stripped from our skin through excessive exposure to elements such as harsh winds, low humidity, dry heat, the sun, alcohol and soaps. Doing simple things like:
- covering up and protecting your feet from sun damage
- sheltering in the shade if you’re going to be outside for long periods of time during the day
- finding alternatives such as replacing alcohol with a fruit infused sparkling water
- replacing your cleanser with one that is soap free.
Choosing your food wisely can not only dramatically benefit your overall health and well-being, but it can also play a part in strengthening the ability of your skin to retain moisture. So include foods that are rich in essential fatty acids such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, avocado and olive oil. Find out what other foods can affect your foot health Click Here.
3. Foot Soak
Soak your feet in a relaxing foot bath infused with essential oils to help calm, relax & moisturize. For some tips from Wendy on creating an ultimate foot bath experience Click Here.
I find that it is easiest to remove calluses and dry skin when the skin is soft and warm following a foot soak or a shower. Following a foot soak or shower when the skin is soft, I like to get out my electric pedicure roller & gently go over my heels & the outer edge of my big toes (I find this area usually gets quite dry too). If I keep on top of my skin care routine for my feet, I find that I only really need to do this maybe once a week or once per fortnight. If you don’t have a roller, I’ve previously used a pumice stone or a foot file.
Finding and using a great foot scrub will also do the trick. Not only will a great foot scrub help remove dry skin, but the massaging motion will also help soothe discomfort and tired aching feet, help improve flexibility and range of motion and it is also relaxing.
Further moisturize your feet by massaging in almond oil, coconut oil or a favourite moisturizer. And works best after a shower and/or exfoliation when the dry skin on your feet has been removed. This allows the skin to more readily absorb the moisturizing creams/oils rather than having to battle past a layer of dry hard skin first.
I would also recommend moisturizing at night before bedtime. Once you’ve applied and massaged the cream or oil into the skin on your feet, put on some cotton socks and wear these in bed overnight to really help the skin absorb the moisturiser.
Please remember to take care when walking in the bathroom or on smooth surfaces after you’ve moisturised your feet though, because it can get quite slippery until such time as the moisturiser has been absorbed in to the skin.
6. Heel Balms
If you’re still having trouble trying to keep on top of your cracked heels you can try a heel balm like Eulactol. Unfortunately, a little trial and error may be needed until you find the heel balm that is right for you. The key is to find the right heel balm that contains the ingredients your skin is missing. For instance a heel balm, such as Eulactol, that is high in urea will be effective if your skin is lacking urea. If your skin isn’t lacking urea then this product will either be ineffective or it will take longer to start seeing results.
7. Podiatrist vs Walk in Nail Salons
Still no help & your cracked skin is quite advanced?
I’d recommend to see a podiatrist who can provide general or specialist skin care (particularly if you live with diabetes) and can professionally get your heels feeling smooth again. You may also be able to claim this service under Podiatry if you have this included as an extra with your Private Health Fund.
Nail salons are great for a quick pick me up, a cosmetic update and/or cosmetic maintenance, but please take care when including a service for dry cracked heels and calluses that use a “blade” or “shaving” technique. Being too aggressive can leave the feet raw and painful. So please do your research when choosing and including this type of service in your skin care routine.
Always check that your nail technician has been professionally trained and has the right qualifications to be offering this service. And I would also recommend checking the salons policy on the sterilization of their equipment. Poor practices can allow the transmission of bacteria and fungus from one person to another.
Did you find this information useful? What has been your experience with dry cracked heels?
Please let us know below.
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